LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The number of S.A.N.E exams has doubled so far in Angelina county leading into the seventh month of the year. The county's sexual assault nurse examiner has preformed more than 40 exams so far this year on both adults and children.
Norma Sanford expected things to get busier when news spread about the first ever S.A.N.E nurse at Harold's House.
"As our message gets out and more and more people are aware that this resource is available to them, I think that the fear of going to some place unknown is lessened," said S.A.N.E Program Director Norma Sanford.
In 2012, one child and zero adults were examined in June. Last month, Sanford preformed S.A.N.E exams on 11 children and two adults. But that's not because there have been more sexual assaults in the county.
"I believe that our numbers are a result of our services being more accessible to the public," Sanford said.
More people are being taken care of in the county and Harold's House couldn't be happier.
"It's so exciting because that's exactly why we're here," said Executive Director Laura Squiers. "We want to serve more children, and we don't want to see more children hurt but we certainly want to see that more children are getting served.
Sanford has been working closely with different agencies to make sure each child and adult that come to Harold's House receive proper care for more than just sexual assault.
"We've had children that have come in that have not been necessarily sexually assaulted but have been physically abused, and this makes it very easy for us to immediately document that information or those injuries through photography," Sanford said.
For more than a decade, Sanford has dreamed of opening the doors to Harold's House for a S.A.N.E nurse. Thanks to the TLL Temple Foundation she's able to provide S.A.N.E exams in Angelina County.
"Norma has just been wonderful,' Squiers said. "She's probably one of, if not exactly one of, the best S.A.N.Es we have in the state. She's been doing this for more than 15 years."
Sanford is on call 24/7 and said her number one goal is to make sure from now on no one is sent out of Angelina County to search for medical resources that are available in Lufkin.