Vail Daily letter: SANE program needed
It is of great concern that the Vail Valley Medical Center lacks the ability to help women involved in a rape crisis. I became aware of the VVMC’s inability to collect forensic data following an attack, after hearing that the woman involved in the alleged rape by an Eagle County sheriff’s deputy had to be taken to Summit County to be seen by a registered SANE nurse.
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a registered nurse who has been specially educated and trained to provide comprehensive care to adult and child survivors of sexual assault, as well as suspects,and to provide expert testimony in a court of law. A SANE is responsible for the immediate medical care of sexual assault victims and the collection of exquisite forensic evidence, and understands the complexities of sexual victimization. Having a SANE program greatly benefits the community by improving the medical and judicial response to sexual assault victims.
I find it completely invalidating to a woman going through this experience that her local hospital lacks the adequate resources to assist during this time of crisis.
While Happy Valley might not have a large number of sexual assaults, we certainly have them — one of them becoming the most high-profile rape cases in the country. Many sexual assaults go unreported because victims feel law enforcement and support service agencies are unable to give them the help they need. I would like to see the VVMC, local nonprofits and the county consider the creation and development of a Colorado SANE program for our community.