SANE/SART Program aims to help victims of sexual assault
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - It’s a unique program in Southwest Louisiana aiming to help victims of sexual assault.
“As a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse, we provide services to people that have been assaulted in our community,” SANE nurse Elizabeth Broussard said. “We service patients from newborn up to 100 years old, if we need to see them.”
The program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Just inside Lake Charles Memorial’s doors, a Sexual Assault Research Team (SART) is trained and ready to assist victims in the critical moments after an attack.
“We take them through a medical exam as well as incorporating aspects of a forensic exam into that, and then we treat them and refer them out to other services that they may need in our community,” Broussard said.
SANE/SART coordinator Tammy Vincent has worked in the program for over 20 years and has noticed that each year the number of victims has gone up.
“The first year that I started seeing patients and keeping a record of them, we only saw about 100 patients,” Vincent said. “And now, in 2019 we saw 250 patients, and it just seems like the number grows every year.”
Vincent said the victims vary, and it’s not just women.
“Primarily, we see women who come in and report assault, but it’s important to know that men are victims of assault too,” Vincent said. “We see about 15% in that range. And children... so, approximately 45% of the victims we see are children that are under the age of 18.”
Victims in need of assistance can reach out to:
FOR EMERGENCIES: DIAL 911
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT: 888-411-1333
SEXUAL ASSAULT: 866-570-7273
SANE program: 337-494-3000.
Oasis support number: 337-436-4552
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