In addition to providing medical care and support to victims of sexual assault, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) collect evidence from the victim’s body during the sexual assault forensic exam. Such evidence may lead to an identification of the assailant through DNA testing. As forensic DNA technology evolves, additional methods for collecting evidence associated with strangulation should be considered. Additionally, without the trauma-informed, victim-centered expertise and support from SANEs during a forensic medical exam, a sexual assault survivor may not disclose strangulation or associated injuries that could need medical attention.
Presenter Kelly Taylor, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Sexual Assault Care Coordinator, and Forensic Healthcare Program Manager at the Womack Army Medical Center, describes her observations associated with the prevalence of strangulation in sexual assault cases, suggestions for collecting DNA evidence in these cases, and considerations for the well-being, recovery, and safety of victims of strangulation and sexual assault.
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