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Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Project (e-pub version)

NCJ Number
Kristein Littel
Date Published
58 pages
This is a guide for communities that wish to replicate the West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Project, which has enabled sexual assault victims living in rural areas of the State to access quality medical services, regardless of location or time of day.
SANEs are registered nurses with advanced education and clinical preparation in conducting forensic medical examinations of sexual assault victims. Most SANE programs use on-call nurses to provide around-the-clock coverage for a medical facility, usually a hospital emergency department. Experienced SANEs offer victims compassion and a commitment to preserving their dignity, expertise in identifying physical trauma and psychological needs, skill in coordinating appropriate care and referrals, and knowledge about what evidence to look for and how to document injuries and other forensic evidence. The Regional Mobile SANE Project, which was piloted in West Virginia, eliminates many of the problems of serving sexual assault victims who live in rural areas. The distinctive features of the project are the availability of more SANEs to fill a 24/7 on-call schedule, because the project recruits nurses from within a region rather than a single county. SANEs are less likely to burn out because they have flexibility in when and how often they sign up for on-call shifts. In providing guidance for replicating the Regional Mobile SANE Project in other communities, this booklet focuses on project planning and implementation. Guidance is provided on assessing project feasibility, inviting stakeholder participation, working with community stakeholders, creating a strategic plan, developing a contractual agreement with hospitals, hiring personnel and developing procedures, making the SANE and advocacy components operational, and implementing and sustaining the project. A checklist for project replication is provided. 12 references and a list of resources for more information