Program that’s lacking at Truro hospital deemed crucial
A local group has formed to apply pressure to have a SANE program implemented at the Truro Hospital.
A group of women from Colchester County are determined not to give up until the province agrees to place a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) at the Colchester- East Hants Health Centre.
Tracey Dorrington- Skinner, executive director of e Lotus Centre, is driven, in part, by her own past experience.
“Prior to the SANE nurses being o ered, I too was a victim of sexual abuse and sexual trauma,” she said. “My experience with the RCMP in Truro was not a great one. As a matter of fact, when I left the RCMP I felt far worse than I had prior to going in.”
She said it was obvious the person who talked with her was uncomfortable and having someone trained to walk her through the process would have made things much easier.
e issue was recently brought further to light after a woman went to the local hospital’s emergency room and reported she was sexually assaulted. e woman said she sent on her way with a couple of pamphlets, since there was no SANE service at the hospital. She was forced to go to Antigonish to be treated.
mon River MLA Lenore Zann said Truro is the only large area without SANE, and the community is not on a recently released list of communities that will receive one.
“A SANE is important because, if somebody is sexually assaulted, raped, whatever, they can go to the hospital and immediately this person is called, and that person looks after them,” she said. “ ey take them through the steps. ey have a rape kit. ey do the things that need to be done in health care for the person, but
also, mentally and emotionally, they’re there for the person.”
Several nurses who are interested in being trained for the SANE program have already contacted the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre.
Margaret Mauger, a trauma therapist at the centre, who previously served as executive director, has been pushing for a SANE since 2010.
“Sexualized violence is a community issue,” she said. “If you haven’t experienced it yourself, you most likely do know someone that has been sexually assaulted.
“People often forget men are victims of sexual assault, too, and it’s usually very di cult for them to talk about what’s happened.”
The women recently made a presentation to Truro Town Council, requesting members write letters of support to government o cials. ey also plan to make a presentation before Colchester County Council.
Women from Colchester County are ghting to have a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) implemented at Truro’s hospital. Some of them have been working on this for several years.