SHERMAN, TX -- It's an horrible crime, but one that happens more than we know. Now, a grassroots effort to bring a sexual assault nurse examiner to Grayson County could help victims, many of them children, from being traumatized all over again.
For a sexually abused child, the process of investigating the assault.. can be just as terrifying.
"These kind of cases are so difficult because there are almost never witnesses. In child abuse cases, there's the perp and the child," said Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown.
District Attorney Joe Brown says his office prosecutes hundreds of these cases every year. That's why he's joining with the Children's Advocacy Center of Grayson County to bring sexual assault nurse examiners or SANE nurses to Grayson County hospitals, to make the process faster, and hopefully, easier on the littlest victims.
"Sometimes its half a day to a full day, and that's after the forensic interview," said CAC Executive Director Martha Nuckols. "That's a very long process, it can be very hard on children."
Nuckols says since 2004, nearly 4,000 children have come to the CAC for forensic interviews. Many of the children, their families and often police and prosecutors, have to drive to McKinney or further for an exam.
The long drive can impact the collection of vital evidence, when building a case.
"We have to move very quickly in order to obtain evidence and it has to be done in a med facility. That's why it's so critical to have hospitals on board with nurses," Brown said.
Brown and Nuckols have found a partner in Heritage Park Surgical Hospital.
"We are going to help coordinate the call schedule as well as provide a place for exams," said Kendra Sikes.
Now it's up to the public to help these children.
"It's just a matter of finding the nurse," Brown said. "We have the funding to provide their training, we have the hospital support. But this takes a special person to deal with sad situations all the time and child abuse."
If you are a registered nurse, interested in joining the SANE program, there are two informational sessions on Thursday, July 10th, at 3pm and 5:30pm. They'll be held at Heritage Park Surgical Hospital.
Heritage Park Surgical Hospital is located at 3601 N. Calais, Sherman, TX. (903) 870-0996