There are an abundance of acronyms in the world today, but two everyone should familiarize themselves with are SANE and MFE. Many hospitals have programs within their emergency department that are specifically trained to assist victims of sexual assault, in Colorado these include SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) and MFE (Medical Forensic Exams) programs. These programs provide nurses with specialized education and clinical training to give appropriate medical care to those who have experienced sexual assault or abuse. Representatives of local SANE programs have been reaching out to various community service organizations that work closely with victims to educate professionals about services they offer and how to streamline the process to reduce further stress and trauma.
Community organizations need to understand what support systems are available to victims because, often times, they are the first to hear a report. Crisis walk-in centers, crisis lines, therapist, counselors, and mental health professionals are potentially the first point of contact for individuals that have just experienced a traumatic event like a sexual assault or abuse. Mental health professionals and organizations should be able to confidently guide victims and be knowledgeable on what resources are available to assure care is granted to them efficiently and effectively.
Although educating community services about SANE and MFE programs is extremely significant, everyone should learn about sexual assault programs and assistance. NCBI has reported research that indicates victims of assault or abuse are more likely to report the crime to a friend, family member, or other informal person over what would commonly be thought of as a formal place to report sexual assault, such as the police or a medical professional. Community-wide education as to what resources are out there and what kinds of support they provide can be extremely beneficial if you are ever in the position where someone close to you discloses an assault. Colorado provides support for victims of sexual assault and knowing what resources are available locally can be instrumental in reducing further trauma to an individual who has experienced a sexual assault and holding criminals legally responsible. Take the time to do some research and familiarize yourself with SANE and MFE, this knowledge could save a life one day.