Pardee Hospital’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are one component of the larger Sexual Assault Response Team Program, which is a partnership of the two local hospitals and several County agencies and providers. To help gather verifiable medical evidence of sexual assault crimes, while preserving the dignity of the victim, Pardee Foundation requested funds to purchase a CortexFlo Photographic Examination System, which is less invasive than the current scope method now commonly used in these assault cases. In order to gain a conviction in sexual assault cases, it is critical that evidence is collected and protocols be followed.
The Pardee UNC Health Care Emergency Department (ED) saw at least 197 cases of assault from June 2016 until November 2017. Each year at least 100 adult Henderson County residents report being sexually assaulted, yet more than a decade has passed without a local sexual assault conviction.
Victims of sexual assault will no longer undergo potentially invasive ex-ams in the emergency room. The CortexFlo System allows for evidence gathering and documenting remotely with less invasion so the SANE nurses can operate the system while giving comfort and reassurance to the understandably distraught patient. Utilizing better equipment and having trained staff will produce verifiable medical evidence that will be admissible in legal proceedings, which should lead to more sexual assault convictions, thereby helping to make our communities safer.
We are very grateful to the Rudnick Fund at the Community Foundation of Henderson County for its grant to purchase the Cortex Flo system.