Lufkin leaders welcome SANE nurse to Harold's House

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - April is Child Abuse Awareness and Sexual Assault Victims Month which is why Angelina County community leaders were at Harold's House to view the new SANE exam room.

Last year Lufkin's Memorial Hospital lost the area's only Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. That is when Harold's House stepped in.

"A child or even an adult who has been sexually assaulted, they were going to have to travel to Beaumont or Houston to have an exam done," said Harold's House Executive Director, Laura Squires.

Harold's House was not alone in the funding of the new nurse. Now, adults can also benefit.

"The Family Crisis Center of East Texas saw a need and a gap in the sane program.  Harold's House provides services to child victims of sexual assault and we provide services to adult victims so it seemed like a natural partnership between the two agencies," said Lufkin's Family Crisis Center Executive Director, Heather Kartye.

That is why they stepped in and split the salary of nurse Norma Sanford who already had experience in the county and the invitation to Harold's House was a joy.

"I was very excited about being able to mainly develop a program that would benefit this community," said Sanford.

When you look at the room, it looks nothing like an exam room.

"It doesn't come across like a sterile environment, so when they come in they aren't scared because it's like you said, it looks like someone's home," said Sanford.

Former District Attorney Clyde Herrington agrees.

"It makes it easier for the victims. They can do things here in one stop, otherwise they get dragged all over the place," said Herrington.

Hopefully the room will bring justice for the victims and a new smile.

Now all this was initially made possible through a grant from the temple foundation. Supplies were also donated by memorial hospital.

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