April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. Each day, people witness a continuum of behaviors that range from being respectful and safe, to sexually abusive and violent. SAAM’s primary prevention approach helps to create environments where people are safe in their relationships, families, neighborhoods, schools, work places and communities. 

Resources at Meriter
Meriter Hospital’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program strives to help sexual assault victims begin the healing process. Since 1988, the SANE Program has provided care to victims of all ages, races and populations; it is one of the longest standing programs in existence.

The program is staffed by registered nurses who have advanced education and instruction in medical-forensic examination and in psychological and emotional trauma. We care for about 400 women, men and children each year from Dane County and many of the surrounding counties. Located within Meriter’s Emergency Department, SANE provides care twenty-four hours a day seven days a week – it is the only program of its kind in Dane County.

Care Provided
Meriter recognizes this is a frightening, traumatic time for victims. Our SANE Program is dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate care in a safe environment.

  • Emotional support
  • Physical examination and wellness check
  • Collection of medical-forensic evidence
  • Assistance with reporting the crime to police, when requested (mandatory reporting for children)
  • Assistance with concerns about sexually transmitted infection and pregnancy
  • Assistance with safety planning
  • Development of a medical follow-up plan 

In addition to caring for victims of sexual assault, the SANE program also educates the community in relation to sexual assault and care of victims. In 2010, the program educated over 500 people, including law enforcement, UW-Madison medical students, Edgewood nursing students, and UW-Madison student campus groups.

For more information about SANE, visit meriter.com/sane or call (608) 417-5916.

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