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Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Project
Publication Date:  June 2008
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A SANE Program for Rural West Virginia
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Office of Justice Programs Seal   Office for Victims of Crime, Putting Victims First

A SANE Program for Rural West Virginia

Why SANE Programs Are Important

The appeal of SANE programs lies in their capacity to address problems that victims often encounter when seeking care after a sexual assault. These problems can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Long waits in hospital emergency departments before victims receive care.

  • Medical staff who are unable to provide a full range of services (e.g., to address victim concerns about the risk of pregnancy and acquiring sexually transmitted infections).

  • Medical personnel who are not proficient in collecting forensic evidence.

  • Hospital caregivers who do not understand the trauma of sexual assault.

  • Medical personnel who are reluctant to collect evidence of sexual assault because they fear they will be subpoenaed to testify in court.9

  • Hospital staff who bill sexual assault victims and fail to inform them of jurisdictional and hospital policies regarding payment for the forensic medical examination. (If a state receives STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant funds, it must certify that the state or another governmental entity pays the full out-of-pocket cost of forensic examinations.)