☷Justice Department Announces New Training Resource for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations
U.S. Department of Justice ( By Press Release office)
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Today , Deputy Attorney General Lisa O . Monaco and Office on Violence Against Women ( OVW ) Principal Deputy Director Allison Randall announced the launch of an updated and expanded resource aimed at health care professionals . Originally developed in 2008 with OVW funding by the Dartmouth Medical School’s Interactive Media Laboratory , the Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examination: A Virtual Practicum ( SAMFE VP ) teaches every step of a victim - centered sexual assault medical forensic examination and serves as a training tool for law enforcement , prosecutors and other professionals . The revised and improved SAMFE VP is designed to enhance care for patients from diverse communities , including transgender patients , young people , elders and incarcerated patients . The SAMFE VP provides interactive training on various 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 enhances training for sexual assault forensic examiners . “All survivors of sexual violence deserve access to compassionate and competent care , and professionals must be able to obtain the resources , training and institutional support required to meet survivors’ needs . Medical forensic care providers can have an enormous impact on survivors , as well as on the investigation and prosecution of these cases , ” said Deputy Attorney General Monaco . “Programs , initiatives and projects funded under the Violence Against Women Act , including the SAMFE Virtual Practicum announced today , support practices that save lives and help build coordinated community responses to sexual and domestic violence . ” “Forensic medical examiners are often among the first people survivors encounter in the aftermath of sexual assault , on what might have been the worst day of their lives , when they are just beginning to process the trauma of what they’ve been through . It is not an easy job , but it is critical in so many ways: research shows that survivors who work with forensic medical examiners have much better outcomes when compared to those who do not , ” said OVW Principal Deputy Director Randall . “The SAMFE Virtual Practicum ensures that nurses and other professionals have the knowledge and skills they need to respond effectively when a survivor needs medical treatment and evidence collection after an assault . ”With funding from the department’s National Institute of Justice , OVW collaborated to update the SAMFE VP 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 who made the project possible is available as a pdf file . For more information about SAMFEs and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners ( SANEs ) , OVW’s Patchwork Podcast has an episode titled “Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Assist Survivors at the Intersection of Health and Justice Systems . ”OVW provides funding under several grant programs to provide sexual assault patients with medical forensic exams to treat their post - assault healthcare needs and to collect evidence of their sexual assault . OVW provides leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to reduce violence through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act and subsequent legislation . Created in 1995 , OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs , policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence , dating violence , sexual assault , and stalking . 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 .
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