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Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs: Improving the Community Response to Sexual Assault Victims, April 2001

About This Bulletin

In 1997, OVC granted funding to the Sexual Assault Resource Service in Minneapolis to develop a practical "how-to guide," the SANE Development and Operation Guide, for starting and administering a SANE program. At that time, only 86 SANE programs existed in this country. Today, there are hundreds of these programs, and new ones are started every month. The OVC-funded Guide has been a valuable training and technical assistance tool, but 3 years later, we at OVC believed it was time to pause and take a look at the impact of SANE programs on victims of sexual assault, the practitioners who serve these victims, and their communities. It was time to check back with some of the older, established programs and the newer programs to find out what is working and why. Although most of the data reported in this bulletin are anecdotal, we believe it offers valuable insight into the difference that a SANE program makes to victims and their communities. In addition, as the number of SANE programs has grown, so have the information, technical assistance, and resources that are available to support these programs. This bulletin describes some of the resources that are available through the Office for Victims of Crime and other public and professional organizations.

Finally, with every success come new challenges. How can a SANE program find funding to sustain itself after its initial development? What is the role of the SANE within the framework of a sexual assault response team (SART)? What is involved in establishing SANE standards of practice, training, and certification? We believe the information and promising practices presented in this report will assist programs and communities as they address these and many other emerging issues.

One of the global challenges that OVC has embraced is to support, improve, and replicate promising practices in victims' rights and services. Our support of SANE programs moves us, and the field, closer to the goal of ensuring that every victim receives fundamental justice and needed services. In many ways, this bulletin is a salute to the field—to the SANEs and countless others in the victim advocacy, criminal justice, and medical fields who have embraced the SANE model and worked ceaselessly to bring SANE services to their communities.

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Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Programs: Improving the Community Response to Sexual Assault Victims
by Kristin Littel


Victim Benefits

SANE Program Development

Program Operation

Data Collection by SANE Programs

SANEs as Key Responders in a Coordinated Response

Collaboration Between SANEs and Victim Advocates

Impact on Law Enforcement and Prosecution

Getting Started

Promising Practices




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About the Author

Kristin Littel is a consultant for the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center. She has served as advocate for a center serving battered and sexually assaulted women and as assistant coordinator for a sexual assault program. At the Center for Sex Offender Management, she worked on the Comprehensive Approaches to Sex Offender Management project. In 1999, she was editor of Washington Crime News and produced Crime Control Digest for law enforcement professionals. As writer and coordinator of the Promising Practices Initiative, Ms. Littel worked for the STOP Violence Against Women Grants Technical Assistance Project and produced the manual Promising Practices: Improving the Criminal Justice System's Response to Violence Against Women.

Preparation of this document was supported by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

April 2001

NCJ 186366

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