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Are SANE Programs Effective?

SANEs directly address or provide support to survivors and others to address psychological, medical, forensic, legal, and community concerns. While the current literature on SANE program impact is somewhat limited, there is evidence of SANE program effectiveness across a number of domains.

With regard to... SANEs/SANE Programs...
Psychological Effectiveness

Are perceived as helpful, caring, compassionate, and supportive by rape survivors.14,15 

Leave patients feeling supported, believed, heard, respected, safe, reassured, in control, informed, and well cared for post-assault.16,17,18 

Medical Effectiveness

Routinely offer pregnancy testing (97%), provide emergency contraception (97%), provide sexually transmitted infection prophylaxis (90%), and do so at higher delivery rates when compared to the traditional emergency department response.19,20,21

Provide more comprehensive medical care than traditional emergency department care.22,23,24

Forensic Effectiveness

Complete more thorough and accurate evidence collection (e.g., use of the correct number of swabs) as compared to non-SANEs.25,26

Properly seal and label specimen envelopes, complete accompanying forms, and maintain the chain of custody at a higher rate than non-SANEs.27

Criminal Justice System Effectiveness Increase the sexual assault reporting rates, the number of patients that complete evidence collection, the law enforcement investigational efforts, the number of sexual assault charges filed, the sexual assault conviction rates, and the average sentence for a sexual assault conviction.28,29,30
Multidisciplinary Response Effectiveness

Centralize care for survivors by acting as a point for multiple service providers to come together to help victims.31

Reduce the amount of time that law enforcement spend waiting at the medical facility, thereby making them available for other community needs.32

Improve working relationships and communication between medical and legal professionals (e.g., developed standardized response protocols, hosted meetings).33