Contact: Office for Victims of Crime, 202-307-0703


   SAN ANTONIO, May 25 -- Specially trained nurses called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) can play a pivotal role in responding to sexual assault by providing valuable services to victims and collecting evidence.


   The Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) will

release the SANE bulletin tonight at the Sexual Assault Response

Team (SART) Training Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The SART

Training Conference, the first national, multi-disciplinary

conference on training members of community response teams that

serve sexual assault victims, will continue through Sunday.


   "The SART Training will help communities develop and improve

comprehensive and coordinated efforts to serve sexual assault

victims," said OVC Acting Director Kathryn Turman. "Sexual Assault

Nurse Examiners are a critical part of these efforts because they

provide victims with needed services, while also improving evidence

collection for better prosecution."


   SANEs are registered nurses who have advanced education and

clinical preparation in examining sexual assault victims. They are

also trained in gathering evidence. SANEs can offer prompt,

compassionate care that preserves victims' dignity and reduces

their psychological trauma.


   A Wisconsin SANE program reported that during a 38-month period,

prosecutors had a 100 percent conviction rate in cases where a SANE

testified at a trial. A prosecutor in Virginia reported that SANEs

are particularly effective in child sexual abuse cases. Children

who are examined by SANEs are less traumatized by the exam, which

allows for improved evidence collection and leads to more

successful prosecutions.


   Since 1997, the number of SANE programs nationwide has grown

from 86 to more than 340 today. In 1999, OVC released the "Sexual

Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Development and Operation Guide,"

which provides detailed information on how to operate model

hospital and community-based SANE programs, including assessing

community needs, developing community support and staff selection

and training.


   The new bulletin, "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)

Programs: Improving the Community Response to Sexual Assault

Victims," examines the impact of SANE programs on victims'

services, law enforcement and prosecution. It describes promising

SANE practices, possible funding sources and a list of resources.


   SANEs will be one of the topics at the SART Training, which will

also highlight issues such as DNA evidence, offender profiling,

drug-facilitated sexual assault, child victims, and victims with

developmental disabilities.  Nearly 700 participants are expected

to attend, including law enforcement professionals, prosecutors,

forensic examiners, SANEs, victim service providers and victim



   "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs: Improving the

Community Response to Sexual Assault Victims," as well as the

information about other OVC publications, programs and conferences,

are available through the OVC Website at

www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ovc and from the OVC Resources Center at



   The "Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Development and

Operation Guide," and more information about the SART Training

Conference are available at www.sane-sart.com


   Information about other Office of Justice Programs (OJP) bureaus

and program offices is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.  Media

should contact OJP's Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at