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Keywords:

  • advocacy;
  • community based;
  • forensic;
  • law enforcement;
  • sexual assault nurse examiner;
  • victims

The community-based Athens-Clarke County Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (ACC-SANE) program was developed to respond to the needs of sexual assault victims. Although this type of SANE model allows for a strong nurse-managed program, there are frustrations and pitfalls that differ from most hospital-based programs. At this time, the majority (71%) of SANE programs are based in hospitals, and few (15%) function in outpatient/community facilities. In the ACC-SANE program, many community agencies interact to provide a seamless approach to postassault health care, counseling, and criminal prosecution. SANE nurses are well equipped to provide forensic examinations in a caring, out-of-hospital environment. The program is housed in a remodeled cottage that rests on property owned by the Athens-Clarke County government and that is adjacent to the local police department. ACC-SANE is governed by a nonprofit board of directors. This management model has allowed the original organizing groups to remain active in the development of the program. As these agencies continue in the governance of the program, they remain committed to the success of ACC-SANE. The impact of program growth and published program guidelines is examined.