Program for Sexual Assault Survivors Begins at Beloit Hospital

Friday, June 24, 2016

 Beloit Health System will be offering an important community program for area victims of sexual assault starting July 1. The program will offer 24-hour care, seven days a week with an on-call SANE nurse when a sexual assault survivor comes in the Emergency Room.

SANE is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner who is a registered nurse specially trained to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault survivors. SANEs perform the medical forensic examination and provide testimony in court proceedings if needed.

When a survivor arrives at Beloit Health System’s Emergency Room and the need for an exam is acute, a SANE will respond within one hour.

 “SANEs are important for many reasons,” explains Betsy Press, RN and SANE Coordinator at Beloit Health System. “If DNA is not collected and no visible injury exists, a medical exam is still conducted and the chart is still evidence if a survivor chooses to report it to law enforcement. We will collect forensic evidence in cases when the assault occurred within 120 hours of arrival for an exam.”

Survivors of sexual assault have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and other concerns. SANEs can make referrals, assist with pain alleviation and help with appropriate follow-up care.

“Survivors need to know that their body will heal and that the physical pain will go away,” adds Press. If you have questions about this new program, please call Betsy Press at 608-364-5559.

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