MERIDIAN, Idaho – Sexual assault and its aftermath are traumatic experiences, but proper support can make all the difference. Three years ago, Idaho grappled with limited resources, especially in rural communities, as there were only three sites with Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs). SANEs are specially trained registered nurses qualified to conduct crucial sexual assault forensic exams for survivors. While other sites had willing nurses, the lack of specialized training stopped them from providing the comprehensive care survivors needed. Despite their difficult situation, many hospitals turned away survivors, transferring them to alternate facilities or asking them to travel to another site that was sometimes hours away where they could get needed services.
Turning Tides: A Commitment to Change
In a groundbreaking move, the Idaho State Police (ISP) took a stand to address this critical gap in support. In 2018, ISP hired a Registered Nurse (RN) as the Idaho SANE/SART Coordinator, beginning a transformative journey. Recognizing the urgent need, a second Coordinator joined the team in 2023, amplifying the reach across Idaho.
From City to Counties: Bridging Gaps in Rural Communities
The Idaho SANE/SART Coordinators are dedicated to enhancing access to comprehensive care for individuals who face sexual assault in Idaho. They provide specialized training on medical forensic exams and essential emotional support to a wide range of medical professionals, including nurses, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and professionals from intersecting disciplines involved in patient care. Presently, 32 sites across the state are equipped with skilled Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), ensuring crucial services are available to survivors and their families in cities and towns throughout Idaho.
Empowering Justice, One Nurse at a Time
Unfortunately, the demand for forensic nurses continues to grow. Currently, only one organization provides 24/7 forensic nursing, posing challenges for survivors and their families in a devastating situation. The role of a SANE nurse demands empathy and compassion, making it a calling for those with a heart to care for the most vulnerable.
Join the Ranks: Become an Idaho SANE
If you or someone you know wants to make a difference in the lives of survivors and communities, we urge you to become a SANE. ISP offers career and life-changing classes to RNs at no cost. Together, we can support survivors in their journey toward healing. Your journey as an Idaho SANE begins here.
– February 5-9 in Boise
– March 18-22 in Lewiston
– April 8-12 in Twin Falls
– May 6-10 in Rupert
– June 10-14 in Orofino
– July 15-19 in Bonners Ferry
– September 9-13 in Preston
– October 7-11 in Moscow
*Classes can be scheduled for your organization!
Contact [email protected] for more information.