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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Forensic nurses offer trauma-informed care

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023   

Sexual assault survivors in rural Ohio may have to travel hours to get a forensic exam.

During National Forensic Nurses Week, Ohio advocates say they're working to expand access to these trained professionals who can offer trauma-informed care.

Tammy Robertson, statewide director of forensic nursing for the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, said beyond a medical exam, forensic nurses can provide courtroom testimony, and assist patients in ways other health care professionals typically do not. She wants survivors of sexual assault, elder abuse, domestic violence, child abuse or human trafficking to know some hospitals have forensic nurses on staff.

"And, at least if the hospitals are unaware of that program, or doesn't have a program, they can potentially reach out to a surrounding hospital and get that patient services," Robertson advised.

Robertson added advocates are working to educate community partners, including law enforcement, prosecutors, child protective services and others about the resources forensic nurses provide.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis or needs help, call the Ohio Sexual Violence Helpline at 844-644-6435, 24 hours a day, seven days week.

Robertson pointed out the holistic approach to care and support forensic nurses offer has been shown to improve survivor outcomes.

"There is, statistically, shown that there is a better healing outcome for those patients who receive care from a forensic nurse," Robertson noted.

Nationwide, between 17% and 20% of hospitals have a sexual assault examiner or forensic nurse available, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network and the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Disclosure: The Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Health Issues, and Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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