Excerpted from "Expanding Treatment for Survivors through Collaboration"
by Jennifer Pierce-Weeks
When victims come forward for intervention and treatment after an assault, their journey is often just beginning. It is common for victims to experience significant post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety-related symptoms, clinical depression, substance abuse problems and repeated episodes of sexual victimization.
Although the SANE/SAFE approach to caring for this specific patient population is recognized as the most effective, a greater emphasis is currently placed on evidence collection rather than overall patient health. The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) is working to change that by collaborating with victim advocates.
A wrap-around support system in the form of victim advocacy is critical ... Through education, both the advocates and forensic nurses can become familiar with the range of services each profession provides. When SANE services and victim advocates work together, the immediate and long-term needs of victims are best addressed.
Nothing you didn't already know but isn't it great to hear someone else recognize the importance of victim advocates and a collaborative response? What do you think?