This federally funded report attempts to determine the impact of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) services in four specific areas: healthcare, victim services, law enforcement, and prosecution through a comprehensive outcome evaluation of the Albuquerque SANE Collaborative.
In 1996, the Albuquerque Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Collaborative opened its doors in New Mexico. Prior to SANE, sexual assault victims typically sought care at an emergency department of a local hospital. Since SANE, patients are seen for sexual assault either at a specialized unit at a centrally located hospital or at another hospital facility depending on the severity of the injuries. The report details the findings of the University of New Mexico Hospital Emergency Medicine Department’s comprehensive outcome evaluation of the Albuquerque SANE Collaborative. The outcome evaluation addresses four specific areas: healthcare, victim services, law enforcement, and prosecution. A comparison was conducted of the experiences of 242 women seeking services at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center in the 2 years prior to the inception of SANE to experiences of 715 women seeking services at the Albuquerque SANE Collaborative after inception (1996) through the end of 1999. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were utilized in the data collection process. Tape recorded and transcribed interview questions consisted of the nature of the participant’s duties related to sexual assault services, pre-SANE experience, post-SANE experience, comparison of pre- and post-SANE impacts on the community, and respondents’ perception of the SANE unit and suggestions for improvement of sexual assault services. The data strongly suggest that a SANE unit greatly enhances the healthcare quality of women who have been sexually assaulted, improves the quality of forensic evidence, improves law enforcement’s ability to collect information and to file charges, and increases the likelihood of successful prosecution. However, additional resources were seen as being needed for victim services, training of law enforcement, and improved communication across all service providers. In conclusion, strong and compelling evidence was found that SANE has positively impacted healthcare, victim services, law enforcement, and prosecution. Communities without SANE programs should investigate the possibility of starting a comprehensive program showing clear evidence that the quality and quantity of services will improve while increasing the likelihood of successful prosecution. Appendices and exhibits
Date Published: January 1, 2003