Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $500,000)
The City of Tulsa is submitting a proposal for the OVC FY 2022 Expanding Access to Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations grant. This proposal is statewide in scope and will provide the oversight, leadership and coordination of SANE programs and exams that is currently lacking in the state of Oklahoma. When implemented, the activities will expand the access, consistency, and quality that all victims of sexual assault deserve.
All victims from every age group, socio-economic and cultural background in Oklahoma will benefit from the newly developed and enriched activities that will be realized through this program. The project will support the development of a statewide SANE coordinator position that will coordinate, support and enhance existing SANE programs. Five new programs will be developed in currently unserved communities. The statewide coordinator will build interagency alliances to ensure trauma-informed, victim-centered medical and forensic responses to all victims of sexual assault. Using the National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examination as a guide, trauma-informed policies and procedures will be developed and distributed throughout Oklahoma. A centralized communication system will be developed to identify the location of programs and ensure access to programs. The current successful online SANE courses will be enhanced by combining the adult and adolescent course with the pediatric course. The development of this combined adult/adolescent/pediatric education and associated clinicals will expand the coverage of skillsets across all age groups.
A clinical coordinator position will be created whose focus will be on the development of medical forensic skills. This person will implement a secure telehealth system linking skilled examiners to nurses with limited skills, benefitting victims’ care and outcomes. This same telehealth system will provide victims with advocate support at the time of an exam in communities that do not have that service.
This project will expand access to sexual assault forensic examiners and will improve care, provide support and peer review. With the support this project will provide to new nurses and nurses with little experience, there will be a decrease in the turnover of nurses in communities that currently have limited access to a coordinated approach to sexual violence. Consistent access to care, evidence collection, and advocacy will lead to better investigations, increased prosecutions, and ultimately a healthier, safer community.