Office for Victims of Crime Awards Nearly $4 Million to Support Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Programs

The Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) announced that it has awarded almost $4 million to support the establishment or expansion of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs that offer medical forensic care, advocacy and other victim services to sexual assault survivors on campuses of higher education. OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan made the announcement during a roundtable discussion with U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott W. Brady, OVC Director Jessica E. Hart, Dean of Duquesne University School of Nursing Mary Ellen Glasgow, and law enforcement leaders from Pittsburgh and surrounding jurisdictions.

“Victims of sexual assault deserve the best of care, including expert medical forensic attention that can help close out cases and bring perpetrators to justice,” said OJP Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sullivan. “These grants will build a cadre of skilled medical professionals capable of responding immediately and holistically to the needs of sexual assault survivors. Making SANE Nurse positions available on college campus will help ensure survivors receive the trauma informed care they deserve and vital forensic evidence will be collected to ensure perpetrators are held accountable.”

“Nurses serving on the front lines of our communities are often the first to respond to and treat victims of sexual assault,” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “Far too many victims endure the physical and emotional trauma of a sexual assault only to wait long hours and have forensic exams conducted by personnel who lack the appropriate training and experience in forensic evidence collection. These SANE grants will allow our universities to create a pipeline of highly-skilled registered nurses to support victims of sexual assault and hold offenders accountable.”

This program will develop, expand or strengthen SANE services to improve the delivery of post-assault medical and advocacy services. Campuses will collaborate with victim service providers in the communities in which the institutions are located. If victim services programs are not available in the community or are not accessible to students, the institution will provide a victim services program on campus in collaboration with a community-based organization.

“Sexual assault is an appalling crime and an obscene violation of personal security and interpersonal trust,” said Director Hart. “The resources we are making available today will help institutions of higher learning bring comfort and relief to victims while widening the possibility for securing justice.”

OVC awarded $3,836,877 to eight institutions, listed below. Funds will help raise awareness and expand outreach about the SANE program and will provide more SANE services to survivors. Operational costs (including salaries and benefits for program staff), training and mentoring for aspiring and current SANEs and advocates, and equipment costs can be supported under this program. This program aims to respond to and empower sexual assault survivors while increasing perpetrator accountability.

  • University of South Alabama, Alabama
    • Total Awarded $493,244
  • Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona, Arizona
    • Total Awarded $499,382
  • Duquesne University, Pennsylvania
    • Total Awarded $499,391
  • The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania
    • Total Awarded $500,000
  • The Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Foundation, South Carolina
    • Total Awarded $345,926
  • Tennessee Technological University, Tennessee
    • Total Awarded $500,000
  • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Texas
    • Total Awarded $499,948
  • The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin
    • Total Awarded $498,986

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The Office of Justice Programs, directed by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan, provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems. More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov.

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Author: October 22, 2020

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