McCabe bill to help provide better care to sexual assault survivors signed by governor

A bill that would explore ways to expand the availability of sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) in hospitals throughout Washington state was signed into law yesterday.

House Bill 2101 would require the Office of Crime Victim Advocacy (OCVA) to develop best practices for local communities seeking better access to SANE nurses. It also calls for the OCVA to develop strategies to make SANE training available to nurses in all regions of the state without requiring them to travel unreasonable distances or incur unreasonable expenses. Currently, the only SANE training available in Washington state is provided at Harborview Medical Center.

Rep. Gina McCabe, the bill’s sponsor, says the bill is a critical first step in ensuring sexual assault survivors have equal access to quality, comprehensive care.

“SANE nurses play a critical role in the detailed forensic investigations that are necessary for the prosecution of sex crimes,” said McCabe, R-Goldendale. “Since the training is only available in one Washington hospital, that limits the ability for nurses from all over our state, including in rural regions, to participate in training, leaving gaps in care at hospitals. My bill will allow us to take a closer look at this issue and find ways to not only expand training opportunities but also expand the availability of existing SANE nurses throughout the state.”

The bill will go into effect later this year. The 2018 legislative session adjourned March 8.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov