LUFKIN, TEXAS (Press release) - As more sexual assault convictions occur, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) at Memorial Health System of East Texas are providing information to protect community members and prevent these crimes. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey, a person is sexually assaulted every 2 minutes in the United States.
"Most times we think of a sexual predator as someone we don't know. We even focus on teaching our kids stranger danger," said Valerie Murphy, RN and SANE Coordinator at Memorial. "In fact, eighty percent of perpetrators in sexual assault cases are by a close family friend or relative of the victim."
Sexual assault in children may go undetected until the child makes an outcry. An outcry is when a child shares their victimization story with another person. Many victims do not have physical trauma because the perpetrator doesn't want anyone to know. While building trust with the victim, SANE nurses accumulate any physical evidence along with the child's history recollection.
During an examination, a SANE will formulate diagnoses, plan of care and treatment specifically for that individual patient. The collection of information is shared with local law enforcement, District Attorney, Family Crisis Center, Child Protective Services and Angelina Alliance for Children. Adults on the other hand can come to the hospital emergency department, receive treatment and the victim is not required to report the assault if so chooses.
"SANE nurses receive extensive, specialized training through the Office of the Attorney General. Many hours of class, clinical and courtroom training certify nurses on sexual assault. Memorial has 2 SANE nurses that see anywhere from 3 to 16 sexual assault victims per month," stated Murphy.
"Memorial Health System of East Texas wants to make a difference in the lives of the women and children in Angelina County and surrounding areas who may be experiencing or who will in the future experience sexual abuse."
Ways to protect yourself and your children from sexual predators include:
- Talk to your children about abuse
- Listen to children and ask questions
- Trust your instincts
- Have a code word with friends to help you leave an uncomfortable situation
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Never leave beverages unattended
- Have a buddy system
Memorial Health System of East Texas encourages you to be safe. If you are a victim of a sexual assault crime, please seek medical attention.
About Memorial Health System of East Texas