COMMUNITIES FOUNDATION of TEXAS
2014 Impact Report
Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation. According to Department of Justice statistics, one quarter of all women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, but fewer than 18 percent of these cases will be reported to law enforcement. But if there is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program in place and a SANE-certified nurse collects evidence, the successful prosecution of rape cases increases by 95 percent. In 2008 Dallas was the largest city in the U.S. not utilizing Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. The Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation and the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center requested that the Caruth Foundation consider a grant of $2,000,000 to support the first Dallas County SANE program and to present a blueprint for the development of comprehensive SANE programs. This grant was designated to support development of the first comprehensive sexual assault victims’ services program in Dallas County. Recipients of grant funds include the Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation (THP) and, through subgrants, the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC) and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas (THPHD). The core of this program is the creation of a dedicated SANE program and the support of the SANE facilities’ buildout in the THPHD emergency room. The program will render comprehensive medical and support services to victims of sexual assault; it will demonstrably improve current sexual assault statistics in Dallas, making Dallas a safer and better place to live; it will provide comprehensive SANE-certified treatment for sexual assault victims in a larger number of cases, including court-admissible evidence collection; and it will strive to become a national leader in providing sexual-assault services. THPHD is currently the sole Dallas County location for SANE training and certification. In January 2014, following successful implementation and operation of the THPHD SANE program, Methodist Dallas Medical Center announced the opening of a SANE program to serve the southern sector of Dallas County. Methodist’s nurses trained and completed clinical exams with Texas Health SANEs. Additionally, there has recently been a discussion of future plans for the development of additional SANE programs to provide comprehensive sexualassault services across North Texas. The completed renovation of the existing square footage in the THPHD emergency-room area includes patient rooms, suite areas for a patient and family waiting/holding room, a social-service and law-enforcement interview room, training/viewing areas, a private bathroom with shower, a general waiting room, an evidence closet with secure locks, a SANE training/on-call room, and secure entrances. The space for this program is available for victims of both sexes and limited to use for SANE purposes. Thanks to this grant, DARCC now provides the first 24-hour rape-crisis hotline in Dallas County, free unlimited counseling for sexual-assault victims and their loved ones, hospital and courtroom advocacy, and community outreach sexual-assault prevention, awareness programs, and education. Since launching the program, THPHD has received an incredible amount of positive press on the value of the SANE program and the hospital’s specially designed SANE suites. This increased public awareness has provided the opportunity for THPHD and DARCC to work with other local hospitals, including Methodist Health System, to expand the SANE program across North Texas.