Thinking Outside the “Kit” –

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March 7, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Transportation Options for Improving Access to Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exams

Survivors of sexual assault face numerous hurdles in the aftermath of the crime, not the least of which is ensuring they can access a medical-forensic exam conducted by a trained medical professional. These trained professionals, often referred to as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE), or Forensic Nurses (FN) ensure that victims’ injuries are treated, prophylaxis against infection and pregnancy are administered, and forensic evidence is expertly collected. Using a trauma-informed approach, SANEs treat victims with respect and dignity, while honoring their choices throughout the process. Research indicates that when victims receive services from a SANE, they are more likely to seek help (e.g., counseling, therapy) and participate in the criminal justice process.

But what happens if the victim doesn’t have transportation to the post assault healthcare services they need? What if the crime occurs in a rural area and the only clinic with trained SANEs is located hours away from where the assault occurred? What if the only transportation available is the bus or taxi, but the victim can’t afford to pay the fares? What if the victim lives in a rural community where there are no buses or taxis? Affordable, safe, discrete, and reliable transportation is key to ensuring that victims of sexual assault have access to medical-forensic exams.

Hosts Kristina Rose, EVAWI and Kim Day, IAFN, will engage in a discussion with guests representing organizations around the country that are providing a range of transportation options for sexual assault survivors.