PSU nursing school leaders to expand SANE training throughout Kansas

Nurses And Local Law Enforcement Learn More About Helping Victims Of Sexual Assault And Domestic Violence At Psu

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ks. – According to the KBI’s Kansas Crime Index 2020, cases of reported rape in Kansas decreased from 1,297 in 2019 to 1,190 in 2020. But in 2021, Wendy Overstreet, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and coordinator of PSU’s SANE program says that’s not what she’s seeing in Crawford County.

“We have noticed here just at our facilities which are the Southeast Kansas Community Health Center and Ascension Health, there’s been an increase, especially over the weekends of reported cases. We went from seeing none to in the last four to six weeks, we do about two to three a weekend, and now over the last three weeks we’ve had one or two report during the week,” said Overstreet.

Fortunately, help is on the way as Kansas nurses spent Thursday training to become SANE-certified at PSU’s Irene Ransom Bradly School of Nursing. And they weren’t alone.

Local law enforcement was there to make sure they’re on the same page with SANE nurses when it comes to both sexual assault and domestic violence.

“This class really allows law enforcement the opportunity to see and experience what our SANE nurse partners look at, why they collect evidence, how they collect evidence, why they ask the questions to the victims that they do, how they ask those questions, and what they write in their reports, so whenever we get those reports we’re able to understand the process they went through with the victims of sexual assault. Then we can convey that information to the prosecutor,” said Detective Sergeant Chris Hall with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.

Wendy Overstreet and her coworkers have been training SANE nurses for Crawford County since they received a grant for it in 2018. Now the grant has been extended and given a $1.5 million boost so the experts at PSU can train nurses throughout Kansas. And Wendy says that’s exactly what the Sunshine State needs with only 18 to 20% of Kansas counties having a registered SANE nurse or SANE facility.

“I just want it to where victims don’t have to drive four to five hours to receive care. If we could get it to 30 to 45 minutes, we’d be good,” said Overstreet.

SANE training is free of charge and is also made possible due to assistance from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.