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Expert Q&A

Topic: Building an Effective SANE Program

Date: April 19, 2017; 2:00–3:00 p.m. e.t.

Description: Providing comprehensive health care to survivors of sexual assault is critical to minimizing the long-term consequences of this traumatic experience. That is where a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) can help. This session will focus on how to start or improve a SANE program in your community with OVC’s SANE Program Development and Operation Guide.



Susan ChassonSusan Chasson, M.S.N., J.D., SANE-A, is a family nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife at the Merrill Gappmayer Family Medicine Clinic, and she is the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) coordinator for the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. As the statewide SANE coordinator, she provides education and assistance to health care providers and other professionals to improve the immediate response to victims of sexual violence. As a volunteer, Ms. Chasson has worked on projects to reduce sexual violence, including developing primary sexual violence prevention strategies for nurses and helping to write an amicus brief to the Maine Supreme Court to maintain immunity for reporters of child abuse.
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She has helped hospitals and communities create programs for providing health care to victims of sexual violence in Utah for almost 20 years. She has been involved as a volunteer with the Friends of the Utah County Children’s Justice Center (CJC) since 1991, and in 2001, she received a Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leader award for her work with the CJC. She is president-elect of the International Association of Forensic Nurses. Ms. Chasson earned a J.D. from the Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School; an M.S. from the University of Utah College of Nursing, and a B.S. from the University of Colorado School of Nursing.
Jennifer Pierce-WeeksJennifer Pierce-Weeks, R.N., SANE-A, SANE-P, Education Director for the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), working with project partners, developed and implemented IAFN's 40-hour online Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) adult/adolescent training program with a 16-hour clinical skills workshop through a grant from the National Institute of Justice. Ms. Pierce-Weeks regularly presents nationally on a variety of forensic nursing-related topics, including child and adult sexual assault, intimate partner violence, strangulation, child maltreatment, and Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) development.
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With 30 years of experience as an emergency nurse, Ms. Pierce-Weeks became a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) in 1995, first serving as a facility coordinator and then as the State of New Hampshire SANE program director. In 2007, Ms. Pierce-Weeks moved to Colorado Springs and joined an established SANE program, successfully expanding the program from SANE to a comprehensive Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. Dual board-certified as a SANE-Adult/Adolescent (SANE-A) and a SANE-Pediatric (SANE-P), Ms. Pierce-Weeks continues to work as a forensic nurse examiner with her local program. Ms. Pierce-Weeks’s work at a national level includes being past president of IAFN, where she served on the board from 2006–2010, and serving as a consultant for the Southwest Center for Law and Policy’s SAFESTAR Project and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center's SANE Sustainability Project. In addition, Ms. Pierce-Weeks has written, edited, and reviewed state-specific protocols and customized protocols for hospitals, SARTs, and tribal communities. Ms. Pierce-Weeks was a contributing author for the most recent edition of the Atlas of Sexual Violence; contributed to Forensic Health Online; published in the Journal of Forensic Nursing as well as the Journal of Emergency Nursing; and has been featured in publications such as Evidence Technology Magazine, USA Today, and the National Center for Victims of Crime Profiles in DNA segment.

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

It's easy to participate:

1. Register and submit your questions in advance.
2. Log into the session at the time of the event.
3. Listen to the experts discuss your questions.

All sessions are recorded, so you can watch them anytime at your convenience.

Expert Q&A Recordings

Each month the Nation's experts answer your questions about best practices in victim services. If you missed a past session, find the recording below.

Expand All
Topic Date Length Training Materials
Show Summary Show Host Biography February 15, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
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Summary: Now that the VOCA Final Rule has been released, many more nonprofit agencies can apply for funding to assist unserved and underserved victims. The VOCA Final Rule released some previous restrictions in the VOCA Victim Assistance Guidelines, but this does not necessarily mean every state’s statutes, rules, and/or policies have changed. This session will provide some best practices on how to navigate this complicated state system to maximize your agency’s ability to build capacity in your organization and increase services to our most vulnerable victim populations.
Host Biography:

Grace Call brings extensive experience working with victims of crime to enhance programs across the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center and deliver technical assistance to justice reinvestment states. Prior to joining the CSG Justice Center, she was a visiting fellow at the Office for Victims of Crime at the U.S. Department of Justice, and directed the VOCA Victim Assistance program for the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy in the State of Washington. Ms. Call previously led the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She started her work with victims in the late 1990s as a volunteer at the Rape Recovery Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received her B.S. in Gender Studies from the University of Utah.
Show Summary Show Host Biography January 27, 2017 1 hour Listen/View Webinar
View PowerPoint
Summary: Substance use can be a coping mechanism for a trauma response to being trafficked; however, it can also be the mechanism that ensures control by traffickers on human trafficking (HT) victims/survivors. This session will address procedures, for example: How does addiction play a role for survivors of HT experiencing trauma? What should service providers know about substance abuse when responding to survivors of HT or investigating HT? How to balance the substance abuse with the victimization and the trauma that occur?
Host Biographies:

Tracy Busse is a licensed professional counselor and approved clinical supervisor who has provided therapeutic services to children, adolescents, adults, and families for more than 12 years. She specializes in working with adolescents and women who experienced various forms of trauma from sex trafficking, childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, and other forms of developmental trauma. Ms. Busse has training in several evidence-based practices for treating trauma. Additionally, she provides therapy to adults and adolescents who have challenges related to grief/loss, substance abuse, depression, and family issues. Ms. Busse believes in providing individualized, holistic care through a gentle, compassionate approach that leads to healing and restoration. In addition to providing psychotherapy, she provides training and awareness to the community around the issues of sex trafficking and exploitation. She was a member of the Georgia Governor’s Office Task Force for 5 years and worked with the community to develop training for caregivers and childcare workers. Ms. Busse led therapeutic trainings for safe homes, shelters, and other human service professionals with strategies for working with survivors of sexual exploitation and complex trauma. She co-created a therapeutic model for working with survivors of sex trafficking and led multiple trainings to the therapeutic community in Georgia. Ms. Busse partnered with Moody Bible Institute as an adjunct professor to create a curriculum for an Intro to Sexual Exploitation course, as well as an online course for educating students about sex trafficking. While working as the clinical director for Wellspring Living, she developed residential and transitional programming for adult and adolescent survivors of sexual exploitation. In these programs, Ms. Busse was able to develop new leaders in the fight against human trafficking, create innovative treatment approaches for survivors, and advocate for the needs of women and girls who have been sexually exploited.

Elisabeth Corey is an advocate working against childhood trauma and a life coach for trauma survivors. She offers one-on-one guidance, virtual groups, and email workshops to help survivors build awareness of their inner conversation and heal their trauma. Her guidance is informed by her personal recovery after a childhood of family-controlled sex trafficking and abuse. She trains recovery helpers in the holistic impact of complex trauma and using trauma as a source of connection as opposed to separation. She raises awareness of familial abuse and trafficking through legislative advocacy, media interviews, conference presentations, and published writings.


If you would like to access Guest Host sessions prior to January 2017, please view them on the OVC website.

What is Expert Q&A?

Expert Q&A is a national forum designed to help victim service providers communicate with national experts and colleagues about best practices for assisting victims of crime. Each month, a new topic will be presented, and one or more subject matter experts will be available to answer your questions on this issue.

How do I register and submit my questions for an Expert Q&A session?

You can register for an upcoming session by visiting the What's New page and selecting the "Register" button. When you register for a session, you will be prompted to submit one to three questions in advance.

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