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Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Projectsubnavigation
Publication Date:  June 2008
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Office of Justice Programs Seal   Office for Victims of Crime, Putting Victims First

About This E-Publication

Implementing SANE Programs in Rural Communities: The West Virginia Regional Mobile SANE Project describes the project’s development and discusses the essential steps needed to replicate it in other rural communities.

From 2002 to 2005, the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) provided funding for the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services (FRIS) to develop and implement a mobile sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program in a rural area of West Virginia that could be replicated throughout the Nation. The project demonstrates the flexibility needed when communities are first planning to launch a project. For example, FRIS staff originally planned to use a self-contained mobile unit for forensic examinations. After considering the challenges involved, however, they opted instead to recruit a pool of on-call SANEs who would serve several hospitals in a four-county region. This strategy improved the quality of medical care and forensic examination of sexual assault victims by increasing the number of SANEs available to fill schedules and the opportunities available for them to further build their skills and experience, while decreasing the likelihood of SANE burnout and the cost for the hospitals involved. Although the OVC grant ended in September 2005, the SANE program continues today.

This replication guide has been developed in both a print and online format to provide technical assistance for rural communities interested in developing a similar program. The guide documents the processes involved in planning, developing, implementing, and sustaining the West Virginia project; discusses the “lessons learned”; and provides a replication checklist and information on available resources for those who serve victims of sexual assault.

Much of the information presented here was drawn from FRIS’s “Mobile SANE Project Final Report,” accessed on the FRIS Web site (

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs

810 Seventh Street NW.
Washington, DC 20531

Michael B. Mukasey
Attorney General

Jeffrey L. Sedgwick
Acting Assistant Attorney General

John W. Gillis
Director, Office for Victims of Crime

Office of Justice Program
Innovation • Partnerships • Safer Neighborhoods

Office for Victims of Crime

NCJ 221753

This publication was supported by grant number 2002-VF-GX-0005, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this product are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.