by D.J. DeJong
Mail Staff Writer
Chaffee County Women Who Care recently donated $10,900 to The Alliance for the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program.
SANEs are registered nurses who have been specially trained to provide compassionate and comprehensive care to sexual assault survivors.
The SANE program in Chaffee County began in 2018 as part of the county’s Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).
SANEs provide medical evaluation and are trained in doing a complete forensic examination, including evidence collection, in cases where the survivor wants that collection done.
They can also provide medications to address medical concerns following an assault.
All SANE services are provided at no cost to survivors.
Currently four nurses are on the Chaffee County team, and they provide services in a variety of private settings, depending on needs of the survivor.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 30 percent of females and 16 percent of males have been victims/survivors of sexual assault in the United States.
Sexual assault also tends to be an underreported crime for a variety of reasons, with only about 37 percent of assaults reported to law enforcement, according to data from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Shelley Schreiner, SANE coordinator, said statistical data for Chaffee County is not currently available, but SART is working on a method of obtaining that data.
“We are so grateful for this donation from Women Who Care,” Kim Reese, one of the SANE team, said.
“These funds are of utmost importance in maintaining and retaining a team of SANEs that provide care for survivors. Education, equipment and training of additional team members will ensure excellent care into the future.
“With community education and support, survivors will be heard, cared for and equipped to move forward,” Reese said.
Chaffee County Women Who Care was organized in 2018 to support charitable causes in Chaffee County communities.
The group meets quarterly to hear presentations and select a project for that quarter, then members write checks for $100 each for the cause selected.
“We are so pleased that the contributions for the first quarter of this year are going to SANE,” said Beverly Van Kampen of Women Who Care. “The Women Who Care immediately recognized the value of the services provided by the dedicated team serving those who have been sexually assaulted in our area and voted to support their ongoing services and additional training.”
The philanthropic group’s next meeting will be April 14 at Salida Rotary Scout Hut. New members are welcome.