Today, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco and Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Senior Deputy Director Allison Randall announced the launch of an updated and expanded resource for violence professionals. health. Originally developed in 2008 with OVW funding from the Interactive Media Lab at Dartmouth Medical School, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination: A Virtual Internship (SAMFE VP) teaches each step of a victim-centered sexual assault forensic examination and serves as a training tool for law enforcement, prosecutors and other professionals. The revised and improved SAMFE VP is designed to improve care for patients from diverse communities, including transgender patients, youth, the elderly, and incarcerated patients. The SAMFE VP offers interactive training on a variety of topics, including evidence collection, physical examinations, medical and forensic documentation, crime laboratory analysis, and courtroom testimony. Earlier this year, President Biden signed into law the historic reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expands access to justice, safety and services for survivors and improves training for examiners. medico-legal for sexual assault.
“All survivors of sexual violence deserve access to compassionate and skilled care, and professionals must be able to obtain the resources, training and institutional support necessary to meet the needs of survivors. Forensic care providers can have a huge impact on survivors, as well as the investigation and prosecution of these cases,” said the Deputy Attorney General of Monaco. “Programmes, initiatives and projects funded under the Violence Against Women Act, including the SAMFE Virtual Internship announced today, support life-saving practices and help develop coordinated community responses to sexual and domestic violence.”
“Medical examiners are often among the first people survivors meet following a sexual assault, on what could have been the worst day of their lives, when they are just beginning to process the trauma of this that they lived. It’s not easy work, but it’s essential in many ways: research shows that survivors who work with medical examiners have far better outcomes than those who don’t,” said Randall, deputy director head of OVW. “The SAMFE Virtual Practicum ensures that nurses and other professionals have the knowledge and skills they need to respond effectively when a survivor requires medical treatment and evidence collection after an assault.”
With funding from the department’s National Institute of Justice, the OVW collaborated to update the Vice President SAMFE with End Violence Against Women International; the Academy of Forensic Nursing; the International Association of Forensic Nurses; and more than 30 multidisciplinary experts – the full list of people and institutions that made the project possible is available as a pdf file. For more information on SAMFEs and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs), OVW’s Patchwork podcast has an episode titled “Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Assisting Survivors at the Intersection of health and justice systems”.
OVW provides funding through several grant programs to provide sexual assault patients with forensic examinations to address their post-assault health care needs and to gather evidence of their sexual assault. The OVW plays a leadership role in developing the country’s capacity to reduce violence through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation. Established in 1995, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and harassment. In addition to overseeing federal grant programs, OVW undertakes initiatives in response to special needs identified by communities facing acute challenges. Learn more at http://www.justice.gov/ovw.