Created in 1996, Albuquerque SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) is a program that provides specialized medical care and forensic services to individuals who experience sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and domestic violence. This program is unique in that it provides comprehensive, compassionate, and trauma-informed care to victims of sexual assault. The program is staffed by specially trained nurses who are certified as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs). These nurses provide medical care, forensic evidence collection, and emotional support to victims of sexual assault. ALB SANE is one of ten SANE programs in New Mexico.
One of the new initiatives at Albuquerque SANE is their Spanish Language services. These services are incredibly important because they provide a safe and supportive environment for Spanish-speaking survivors of sexual assault. This service allows survivors to access the resources they need to heal and move forward in their lives – in their primary language. Additionally, it helps to reduce the stigma and shame that can often accompany sexual assault, and it helps to create a more inclusive and supportive community for all survivors.
The newest facility for the organization is in Los Lunas and is part of the Valencia Shelter Services. Now folks from Socorro, Valencia, and Torrance County can access SANE services closer to home. It provides specialized medical care and forensic examinations to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, as well as counseling and advocacy. This location is helpful because it provides victims with access to the specialized care they need in a safe and supportive environment. It also helps to reduce the stigma associated with sexual assault and encourages victims to come forward and seek help. The new Los Lunas location is being used by patients seeking mental health services as well. The location is staffed by licensed mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors.
Finally, the New Mexico Supreme Court recently recognized that the SANE nurse has the dual role of providing both medical care and forensic/evidence collection. This decision allows the nurse to speak to the victim’s narrative. This has a positive effect on victims of sexual assault by providing them with a greater sense of justice and validation. The SANE narrative and nursing process provides a more comprehensive and detailed account of the assault, which can be used to corroborate the victim’s testimony and provide a more accurate picture of the incident. This can help to ensure that the perpetrator is held accountable for their actions and that the victim receives the justice they deserve.
Please join the Commission on the Status of Women in supporting the change-makers at Albuquerque SANE, by donating to the work they do every day, to help the Women of New Mexico.