the United States, crimes of a sexual nature are grouped together and labeled
as sexual violence. The crimes within this group are sexual harassment, sexual
assault, and rape. “Every 2 minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted
according to the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network. Only about 40% of
sexual assaults are reported to the police; 38% of rapists are known to the
victim.” (Henry, 2017) Within the field of forensics, there are specially
trained nurses assigned to examine patients who have experienced a sexual assault.
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) are “Nurses specially trained to help
collect and preserve evidence in sexual assault cases.” (Gaensslen &
In order to be an excellent SANE employee,
you must be able to understand the need for compassion. These victims have
experienced a tremendously painful situation that needs to be treated
delicately in order to not cause any further suffering. A SANE nurse must be
dedicated to upholding the victim’s self-respect and willing to try reducing
the amount of psychological trauma experienced. Personally, I feel I would
bring compassion as well as interpersonal skills that would allow me to build a
good support system for the victim. This field requires a strong individual
that can separate their personal feelings from their work environment in order
to provide the best care possible to those in need.
Most of the skills needed to be a
successful Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner come naturally. A strong sense of
problem-solving and critical thinking abilities is a must within the field. I
also feel a SANE must possess good written and verbal communication skills.
Since many SANE’s interview victims, they will need to be able to conduct
interviews and collaborate with law enforcement, attorneys, or medical
professional. This could mean the difference between a victim seeing their
assailant go to prison or acquitted.
Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually
assaulted. Every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of
every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison. (RAINN, n.d.) The United States
has faced the difficulties of lowering the number of sexual assaults taking
place, but also increasing the number of individuals that come forward and
report a sexual assault. The increase in SANE nurses will allow more victims
the care needed to face the aftermath of a sexual assault and be more willing
to go forward with a report. While we sometimes look at statistics with a
fearful eye, we must understand that an increase in reported sexual assaults
may mean more individuals are willing to come forward and make a report. In
this case, increased awareness may be giving more victims a voice they once
thought they didn’t have.