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Australia Mount Gambier increases forensic examiners for sexual assault victims after teen's ordeal

05:35  25 march  2020
05:35  25 march  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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New York State Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE)-Designated Hospital Programs provide specialized care to sexual assault patients. Qualifying hospitals licensed under Article 28 of the Public Health Law seeking SAFE designation can apply to the Bureau of Women, Infant

Medical consequences of sexual assault include sexually transmitted infections; mental health conditions, including posttraumatic When sexual violence is identified, individuals should receive appropriate and timely care. A clinician who examines sexual assault survivors in the acute-care

a blue and white sign: Mount Gambier Hospital is training staff to increase its capacity to perform forensic examinations. (ABC South East: Selina Green) © Provided by ABC NEWS Mount Gambier Hospital is training staff to increase its capacity to perform forensic examinations. (ABC South East: Selina Green) Warning: This article contains details that may be distressing to some readers

Extra forensic examiners will be added to the staff at a South Australian hospital after a 17-year-old girl was forced to make a round trip of more than 800 kilometres following an alleged sexual assault.

The teenager presented at Mount Gambier Hospital on New Year's Eve, in SA's third-largest city, but because the only two nurses qualified to examine her were both on leave she was forced to travel to a clinic in North Adelaide.

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SANE ( sexual assault nurse examiners ). offer a consult with a sex assault counselor in the ED if one is available. refer the patient to a sex assault center for aftercare and community resources. preferred method to care for sexual assault victims . SANE nurse collection.

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), is a Registered Nurse responsible for providing timely, victim -centered, trauma-informed care to patients Must have completed a training program for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner . Performs Sexual Assault exams and collects forensic evidence

Katrina Dee, the director of the SA Health's Women's and Children's Hospital Network (WCHN), said it was important for the public to have confidence in the system.

"Victims need to feel confident that they can go into healthcare settings or hospitals and receive a good health care response," she said.

"We really do want people to be able to access that in their local area."

Harsh 'reality' for regional victims

While Mount Gambier Hospital will double the number of staff able to carry out forensic examinations, a lack of nurses trained to perform that task is an issue in regional areas in several states.

Ms Dee said she was not aware of any rules or regulations in place that ensured hospitals had at least one forensic examiner on duty at all times.

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Most often, sexual assault victims are assaulted by an acquaintance not stranger. A number of studies revealed the percentages of acquaintance assailants as changing Extrafamilial sexual abuse experiences of young adolescents (ages 10–14), particularly young teen boys, are not well studied.

All survivors of rape and sexual assault should be able to get the help they need to empower them to move on from the impact of the crime. We don’t just help people who’ve recently been sexually assaulted or raped — we’re here to support both men and women weeks, months and years after the

"I think in the regions there will always be that risk based on whether there's enough staff trained, whether you have staff on leave, maybe having staff needing to prioritise other areas. Or we may have people on sick leave. So there's a range of things that can impact on availability," Ms Dee said.

"I would love it if we could get to the point where we're able to offer our regional people who've been sexually assaulted the option of 'do you want something locally?', which is one sort of standard, or 'do you want to travel and see a specialist service?'

"A lot of planning has already occurred and gone into ensuring that we can, as best we can, prevent travel.

"The reality is we can't have specialist forensic consultants for sexual assault in every regional hospital."

Evidence best collected quickly, FSSA says

A spokesperson from Forensic Science SA, however, said victims should be examined in a timely fashion — particularly because the evidence collected could be crucial in court.

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Non-recent child sexual abuse (CSA) and child sexual exploitation (CSE) have received recent attention. Victims often do not report their ordeal at the time the incident occurred, and it is increasingly common for agencies to refer concerns to the police years, or decades, after the event.

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"Forensic Science SA recommends that victims are examined for evidence as soon as possible after sexual assault," the spokesperson said.

"This way there is less likelihood that the evidence is compromised by any other activities the victim may engage in after the assault.

"However, FSSA scientists may still be able to identify meaningful evidence if testing occurs within a week of the assault."

But Ms Dee says there can be benefits for victims requiring a forensic examination to take the trip to places like North Adelaide's Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service.

"Although the travel may appear inconvenient, there are some very good advantages to seeing a specialist service for a healthcare response, as well as a forensic response," she said.

"The forensic consultants are experts both in the collection of the evidence and also in presenting that evidence in court which may later be relied upon."

Police welcome change

Mount Gambier Hospital's newly-trained nurses should be able to conduct forensic examinations within the coming months.

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Campus sexual assault is the sexual assault , including rape, of a student while attending an institution of higher learning, such as a college or university.

► Fictional child sexual abuse victims ‎ (1 C, 66 P). Pages in category "Fictional sexual assault victims ". The following 187 pages are in this category, out of 187 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).

Inspector Campbell Hill, whose officers accompanied the girl to North Adelaide, hopes the hospital's improved capability will comfort the community. © ABC South East: Becc Chave Inspector Campbell Hill, whose officers accompanied the girl to North Adelaide, hopes the hospital's improved capability will comfort the community. Limestone Coast police, who accompanied the victim of the alleged assault on the more than 400km journey to the Yarrow Place centre, said they hoped the hospital's improved capability would provide some comfort to the community.

Police Inspector Campbell Hill said it was good news for all involved in the services.

"We have been working closely with the hospital on this topic," said Inspector Hill, the acting officer-in-charge for the Limestone Coast Local Service Area.

"We enjoy a good working relationship as a result of the multiple aspects [of] policing [that] interacts with health providers."

The training carried out last week was attended by 20 staff members, including local ambulance personnel.

But only those who meet strict criteria will be chosen for further training.

"As you can imagine, a forensic examination on a traumatised victim who's been sexually assaulted is a really complex examination to do," Ms Dee said."It requires not only the collection of the evidence but understanding the trauma and what's going on for that person.

"The training covers both sexual assault — what it is and the impact of it, dispelling any myths about it — as well as providing training around how to give a healthcare response."

If you need help or you have experienced domestic/family violence or sexual assault, call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to speak with a counsellor at the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence hotline. If you require immediate assistance, call Triple Zero (000)

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