GREENFIELD, Ind. (August 19, 2022) — In an effort to break down barriers to care for sexual assault survivors, healthcare and law enforcement organizations have launched the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program in East Central Indiana. The SANE program is now available to survivors at the Knightstown Health Care Center, which is operated by Hancock Health. Partners of the program also include Henry Community Health, Rush Memorial Hospital, and the prosecutors’ offices of Hancock and Henry counties.
“The SANE team, and all partners involved, want to make sure survivors are being welcomed into a safe, loving, and caring environment when they come in for a physical exam and follow-up care,” said Donna Timblin, SANE Nurse Practitioner Lead at Hancock Health. “These healthcare professionals are trained extensively to deliver compassionate care while performing proper forensic exams. Please know, these exams are performed as a precaution; this way survivors can choose to report to law enforcement in their own time.”
The SANE program was made possible by a $325,000 grant from the Indiana State Department of Health’s Office of Women’s Health. The Indiana SANE Training Project has prepared more than 350 nurse examiners in forensic procedures since 2018. Sixteen specially trained nurses and nurse practitioners will be available to conduct free examinations that document patients’ stories and preserve legal evidence, provide relevant medication, and connect patients to counseling and other community services. These services are offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
According to the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, one in three women and one in 71 men will be raped at some time in their lives in the United States. Unfortunately, 63% of assaults are not reported to law enforcement for a variety of reasons—including fear of retribution, PTSD, or feelings of shame or guilt.
“This SANE program offers survivors a convenient, local location to receive medical care and emotional support at one of the most difficult times in their lives,” said Aimee Herring, Hancock County Chief Deputy Prosecutor. “We hope to address one of the significant barriers to disclosure and reporting, while providing treatment with integrity.”
The SANE program is available at Knightstown Health Care Center, located at 224 West Main Street in Knightstown, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. The facility’s phone number is (765) 345-5572. When the clinic is closed, survivors may visit emergency departments at Hancock Regional Hospital or Henry Community Health to be connected with a qualified nurse examiner.
Rachel Leininger, (954) 295-4899
About Hancock Health
Hancock Health is an independent, full-service health care network serving East Central Indiana. A proud member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Hancock Health has been nationally recognized for outstanding clinical outcomes by The Leapfrog Group and the Lown Institute. The network includes Hancock Regional Hospital, Hancock Physician Network, and more than 20 other health care facilities, such as wellness centers, women’s clinics, family practices, the Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center, and Gateway Hancock Health. For more information, contact Hancock Health at (317) 462-5544, or visit Hancock Health’s website or Facebook page.