ST. MARYS — The Ohio Attorney General’s office has, for many years, had a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) protocol in place to help aid victims of sexual assault. The protocol aids victims and Emergency Departments with evidence collection and victim’s assistance. Until now adult victims of Auglaize County have had to report to neighboring counties for help after an assault has occurred because Joint Township District Memorial Hospital did not have any registered nurses formally trained to complete the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination.
The challenges the hospital has faced to reinstate this program has included volunteerism of registered nurses and victim advocates as well as the time for these individuals to complete the SANE (Sexual Assault nurse examiner) training. The training includes 40 hours of didactic and 40 hours of clinical training.
Joint Township Hospital currently has two SANE trained registered nurses. With SAFE services possibly being needed at any hour 365 days a year more SANE trained registered nurses and victim advocates are needed. The hospital will continue to advocate for more registered nurses to obtain this training to aid this underserved area of our community.
The hospital has also announced the agencies of Auglaize County have come together and created a sexual assault response team (SART). This includes Auglaize County Sheriff and law enforcement agencies, Joint Township Hospital, the Auglaize County Prosecutor, Auglaize County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services, Auglaize County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Job and Family Services, Auglaize County Crisis Center and Crime Victim Services. Each agency within the SART team is ready to assist adult victims regain their power and get back to a place of healing.
For more information about becoming a victim advocate for Auglaize County, contact crime victim services at 419-222-8666; no medical background is needed to be a victim advocate.
If someone is in emergent need, due to a sexual assault, call 911. If you are not in emergent need of assistance but have been a victim of sexual assault, call toll free 87-STOP-RAPE (877-867-7273) for a 24 hour-a-day crisis line with licensed crisis counselor/professional victim advocate.