Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $600,000)
Expanding SANE Training and Direct Services to Victims of Sexual Assault
The SAFE Alliance (SAFE), a sexual assault and domestic violence victims’ services agency, requests $600,000 from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to establish new sexual assault services and to expand existing sexual assault services. This program would bolster nursing and advocacy services to survivors of sexual assault, enhance program infrastructure, add new law enforcement accompaniment services, and create a didactic training curriculum for SANEs.
New programming will include the development of a Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse (SANE) didactic curriculum, enhanced training opportunities for nurses, and sexual assault advocacy services to satisfy new Texas House Bill 1172, (3), allowing accompaniment to survivors during law enforcement interviews; along with direct client assistance for survivors to access wraparound advocacy support. The proposed project would expand existing programming by adding both nursing and advocacy staff and bolstering supervisory capacity; as well as increase the effectiveness of the local Sexual Assault Response and Resources Team (SARRT) by hiring a SARRT Coordinator.
The proposed activities will improve outcomes for survivors of sexual assault, and will train SANEs and improve retention of existing SANEs and advocates. The proposed project will also strengthen the local SARRT and enhance policies and practices that will result in improved community response to sexual assault.
The proposed project will be based in Austin/Travis County, Texas, which has an estimated population of over 1.2 million. In addition to Travis, the project will serve Hays, Williamson, and Burnet Counties, which are all directly adjacent to Travis County on the north, south, and west. Austin generally takes a regional approach in planning due to the regional impact of various cities’ and counties’ needs, resources, and plans.
In 2020, the City of Austin and Travis County law enforcement reported a combined total of 669 rape/sexual assault cases. The proposed project aims to serve this population, including youth and adult victims of sexual assault.