GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- Several groups are teaming up to implement a sexual assault nurse examiner program in Grayson County to help victims of the crime.
Thursday, they came together to recruit other people who want to help.
Right now, if a victim is sexually assaulted they have to travel to another county in order to get examined, making the process more difficult for the victims as well as those working the case.
Nurses from around the community gathered at Heritage Park Surgical Hospital to learn how they can start helping in Grayson County.
Officials with the Grayson Crisis Center say 600 to 800 adults report sexual assault every year.
The Grayson County Children's Advocacy Center says between 350 to 450 children suffer sexual assault as well, and those are only the number of reported cases.
"When they call our hotline and find out what's involved in getting an exam, they find out they have to travel to Collin County or travel to Gainesville," said Grayson Crisis Center Executive Director, Rachel Morgan. "They have to take time off of work and get childcare. They find out how much is involved in all of that and half the time they just give up."
That's why the Crisis Center, CAC, Grayson County District Attorney's Office, and Heritage Park Surgical Hospital are teaming up to bring Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners or SANE nurses to Grayson County.
On Thursday, these groups held information sessions to let area nurses know what's involved in becoming a SANE nurse.
"That's 64 hours of didactic or classroom education," said SANE nurse, Catherine Strain. "Then they have to do courtroom testimony, well child, well women,10 exams on children, and six exams on adult women."
Martha Nuckols, Executive Director of the CAC, says it is vital to have a SANE nurse in the county, especially for younger victims.
"With children, because they heal so fast, we want to recognize the assault for what it is to be able to document that and to be able to help them with healing," Nuckols said.
Strain has been a SANE nurse for the past 10 years and says this profession is more than just a job, it's a dedication to helping all victims of sex assault begin to heal.
"Each person who is a victim of sexual assault needs the best care they can possibly get, both physical and emotional," Strain said.
If you are a registered nurse and would like to become a SANE nurse, you can contact Kendra Sikes, Manager of Physician Services at Heritage Park Surgical Hospital.
She can be reached at (903)870-0996 or firstname.lastname@example.org