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News Article Highlights Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners’ Leadership

“Working as a sexual assault nurse is different. "It's nothing big or fancy — I just love it so much, being able to help the patients. I've been privileged to see how everything went and to be able to see them heal," Victoria Ross, sexual assault nurse examination coordinator at Cox Health Center South in Springfield said. "Oh goodness … You feel like family by the time you get done.’”

As efforts to establish a comprehensive, statewide response to sexual violence are underway, nurse examiners are instrumental to informing the process. A recent news article from the Columbia Missourian provides an in-depth perspective of challenges nurse examiners, hospitals, law enforcement and crime labs face in serving survivors of sexual assault.

There are bills being drafted in the 2018 legislative session that could address some of the problems. MCADSV CEO, Colleen Coble, points out in the article that an omnibus criminal justice bill will likely include a statute that would set time limits for how long a hospital, law enforcement agency, and crime lab should store sexual assault evidence before passing it to the next agency in the chain of command.

Chain of command protocols for sexual assault forensic kits is one focus of MO-SART, as well as centralizing information about the location of trained nurse examiners, so that potential patients can easily find where to go for care. 

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