Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $596,887)
“Days after coming out online, JBER soldier reported sexual assault – and later died by suicide” states the headlines from the Anchorage Daily News on Sunday, June 27, 2021. In 2019, the Anchorage Daily News ran a series of stories, as told by victims of sexual assault, to raise awareness of this ongoing problem in Alaska.
The proposal from Alaska’s largest Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, Forensic Nursing Services of Providence (FNSP), is looking for funding to expand services to respond to this heartbreaking, preventable crisis. Preventing suicide and promoting healing by connecting sexual assault victims to services is the primary focus of this funding request.
FNSP partners with Southcentral Foundation to focus on healthcare for Alaska Native / American Indian victims. FNSP partners with the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) Hospital and the Army and Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs to respond to accusations of sexual assaults in the military. FNSP partners with local and statewide law enforcement, advocates, and health care systems to provide services through the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) approach. The SART response is known to increase positive health outcomes, enhance community safety, and improve criminal prosecution options for sexual violence.
Primarily serving Alaska’s most populated area, 90% of the victims are from the Anchorage area (includes JBER); while 10% of the victims are from areas outside of Anchorage. Sixty-seven percent of the victims are Alaska Native / American Indian. Twenty-eight percent of the victims’ report homelessness.
FNSP requests funding to support adding a Forensic Nurse Case Manager to our team to reduce “no-shows” for forensic nursing follow-up exams and to coordinate referrals for follow-up care to services, including, but not limited to, mental health counseling, substance use treatment, medical care, and housing. FNSP proposes to add a part-time night shift Forensic Nurse Examiner to increase capacity for responding to multiple patients simultaneously and decrease patient wait times for forensic nursing services.
FNSP provides the most comprehensive, compassionate medical forensic care for victims of sexual assault in Alaska. We look forward to a partnership with the US Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, to expand our forensic nursing services and improve patient access to follow-up care that will improve health outcomes and can prevent attempted and completed suicides in the aftermath of a sexual assault, such as the one in the recent headline.