Expansion of SANE program to Truro hospital welcomed
Move comes in wake of cases put before the province
Public outcry over a lack of proper care for sexual assault victims in Truro has prompted a commitment from the province to expand its Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to the area.
The commitment follows recent news stories of two women who came forward to share their accounts of being improperly received when they went to the Colchester East Hants Health Centre to report they had been sexually assaulted.
“My initial reaction is that I’m excited that there’s going to be a sexual assault nurse examiner for the Colchester Hospital,” said one of the women, who had emailed information directly to Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey of being mistreated at the hospital in 2014.
“It’s a small victory,” she told the Truro News. “We need to have more changes in regard to sexual violence and how people are dealt with. So I think this is a good rst step. e reason for bringing my story forward was never to help myself, it was to prevent it from happening to anyone else.”
e woman learned of the move through a letter emailed to her from Delorey saying Premier Stephen Mcneil is committed to having SANE services in Truro.
A spokesperson for Nova Scotia Health Authority said options are being explored on how to expand SANE services to the Truro area with further information to be provided when available.
“Expanding SANE services in this area will assist to enhance system responsiveness to individuals who disclose an incident of sexual violence,” Delorey’s letter says. “It is an important component of a trauma-informed approach to the care of individuals who have experienced sexual assault.”
Delorey said a solution is being developed to mitigate current gaps in access in Cumberland and Colchester counties while identifying options to address service gaps in the longer term.
While welcoming the announcement by the government, the woman, who asked that her name be withheld, said negative comments published on social media about medical sta at the hospital are unfair and she has no interest in having anyone reprimanded.
“I just think that given the shortages in our health-care system, probably the response wasn’t appropriate from the nurses or the hospital at that time but it’s the response they are given because of their sta shortages and because of the inexperience and not being properly trained,” she said.
“All I want to do is nd the holes and x the holes and get the training in there for the health care professionals, so they can deliver what they need to for every other person who walks through that front door.”