Sexual Assault Nurse Program Helps Increase Convictions


A study of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners program says it contributes to higher prosecution and conviction rates, reports the National Institute or Justice Journal. The study focused on SANE programs in a large Midwestern county, measuring how far sexual assault cases progressed through the criminal justice system during the years before and after the programs started. Researchers found statistically significant increases in the percentage of cases that resulted in guilty pleas or convictions.

SANE nurses get at least 40 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of clinical training. The training covers evidence collection, injury detection methods, chain-of-evidence requirements, ways to avoid re-traumatizing a victim during an examination, and other topics. Most SANE teams use specialized equipment such as a colposcope, a lighted magnifying tool that can detect small cuts, bruises, and other injuries.

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