Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counseling and Advocacy Program
South Shore Women’s Center and Womansplace Crisis Center (a program of Health Care of Southeastern Massachusetts, Inc.), which are local resources for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, have joined with Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth in offering the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counseling and Advocacy program to our community. The program was started in June 2000.
Counselors at Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth provide crisis intervention, support and resources to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and help for victims to cope with overwhelming trauma. They are there to reassure patients and are reminded that every step of their care in the emergency department is their choice, including use of a rape kit. Counselors are at the hospital from 5:00 p.m. until midnight every day, but can be reached by pager at other times.
The SANE Program (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)
Beth Israel Deaconess - Plymouth is one of only six hospitals in Southeastern Massachusetts offering the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program. When a rape victim arrives in the emergency department, the response team is immediately alerted through an on-call pager system. A key component of SANE is the time-sensitive, compassionate, coordinated care offered to sexual assault victims by registered nurses.
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are specially trained, certified professionals skilled in performing quality forensic medical-legal exams. SANEs will document the account of the assault, perform necessary medical exams, provide testing and treatment and then collect crucial, time-sensitive evidence using the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit. Should a case go to trial, the SANEs are then available to testify and provide expert fresh complaint testimony.
SANEs are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for sexual assault victims age 12 and older and who have been assaulted within the last 5 days. SANE works with hospital personnel, law enforcement, district attorneys, rape crisis centers and social services to coordinate care for the victim. If a SANE is not available, an emergency department nurse will assist the sexual assault patient.