Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Expands

Nova Scotians who have experienced sexualized violence require specialized care. They need to know what their options are for seeking medical attention. That is why government has committed to making the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program available in more communities across the province. 

“Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners support survivors of sexual assault during an incredibly difficult time,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “The impact of sexual assault can be devastating, and we are committed to ensuring Nova Scotians have in-person, 24/7 access to this important service.”

The most recent expansion includes:
— Roseway Hospital in Shelburne delivered by the Tri Country Women’s Centre SANE program, available as of Feb. 1
— Colchester Regional Health Centre in Truro, delivered by the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) SANE program, available as of Feb. 1
— Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst, also delivered by the VON SANE program, starting Monday, Feb. 8 

The services are provided by registered nurses who have advanced training and expertise to provide specialized medical care and forensic response. On-call nurses provide emergency care that includes supportive treatment, medical attention, information and additional resources, as well as the option to have forensic evidence collected.

Expansion of the VON SANE program to the Eastern Shore is planned for spring. On-site service is currently available in 17 hospitals and health centres across the province.

“VON is honoured to be delivering SANE services to Nova Scotians in Cumberland and Colchester counties, and expanding the availability of this important service.  Access to close-to-home services and support can be critical to a survivor’s recovery process.  VON SANE services are built on established and effective community-based models of trauma-informed care, enhanced by our expertise and experience in the delivery of community nursing care.”
     – Jo-Anne Poirier, president and CEO, VON

“Tri County Women’s Centre is pleased to be offering SANE services at Roseway Hospital. The expansion provides extended capacity to the community of Shelburne and surrounding rural areas.”
     – Shana Vidito, Tri County Women’s Centre SANE program coordinator, Western Zone

“It is momentous to see this specialized trauma and violence-informed nursing care more widely available to Nova Scotian communities. The ability to offer timely, supportive SANE care, provide additional reporting options and information, and more seamlessly link to resources leads to better short- and long-term outcomes for survivors.” 
     – Susan Wilson, provincial coordinator, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, Nova Scotia Health

Quick Facts:
— those wishing to access SANE support can call the nearest location 24 hours a day, seven days a week or can go to the closest emergency department
— if on-site service is not available at a hospital, individuals who chose to will be transferred to a hospital that has on-call SANE response
— health-care teams at any hospital can complete the medical and forensic exam if the patient chooses not to be transferred to more specialized care
— 24/7 phone support is available through all SANE teams, providing information, resources and options following a recent sexual assault
— other services available to people who have experienced sexual violence include free legal advice, trauma therapy and dedicated sexual violence prosecutors 
— government is investing about $1.7 million this year on SANE 

Source: Release #notw

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