The Women’s Resource Center to Host SANE Training at the Anthracite Hotel

Members News

For survivors of sexual assault, a forensic rape exam (FRE) can be both a key means of collecting evidence against their offender as well re-traumatization of their assault. In an effort to better support survivors and ensure evidence is properly collected the Women’s Resource Center of Lackawanna and Susquehanna Counties (WRC), and the Victims’ Intervention Program of Wayne and Pike Counties (VIP) are hosting a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training at the Anthracite Hotel in Carbondale.

There is a nationwide shortage of SANEs, especially in rural areas. Of the 80 SANEs in PA, only one is in the northeast. Local survivors looking to utilize her services must either travel to Scranton, likely on their own without the use of an ambulance, or wait for her to be contacted and make the trek out to where they are. This is especially problematic since time is critical for gathering DNA evidence. And that is to say nothing of the mental and emotional load that puts on the survivor.

“SANE nurses are a critical component to any healthcare system,” said Ericka Thaxton, VIP’s Medical Advocate. “Not only do they conduct forensic examinations, collect evidence, and provide expert testimony in court, they also offer high quality, trauma-informed patient care, and emotional support for any individual who may fall victim to sexual assault or abuse.”

“This is the second time that we have been able to offer the SANE training thanks to the AllOne Foundation,” explained Sabrina Hannon, M.A., WRC’s Medical Advocacy Program Coordinator. “At our last training, we were able to train 12 nurses but unfortunately within the 2 years since that training, most of the nurses have left our area or begun travel nursing. The response we have received from the medical community about the training has been very positive. Nurses want to be trained and medical facilities want their nurses trained but are often unable to provide the in-class training, so programs like ours help fill those gaps.”

The training will take place October 9th and October 10th at the Anthracite Hotel in Carbondale. Broken into four sessions, this training teaches Registered Nurses from Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wayne, and Pike counties how to collect evidence in sexual assault cases with compassion for the experience the survivor has endured.