In collaboration with Vail Health, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health and Bright Future Foundation, Colorado Mountain Medical launched Eagle County’s first and only Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)/Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) program to ensure victims of sexual assault can receive immediate medical and emotional attention without leaving the community.
The moments directly after a sexual assault occurs are crucial for evidence collection and a medical forensic examination. This process can be traumatizing, especially if there are barriers to receiving treatment.
“Traumatic events can be extremely overwhelming for survivors, and, at times, this can decrease their motivation to access available services,” said Dr. Stacie Freudenberg, Bright Future Foundation’s Clinical Director. “Bright Future Foundation’s co-response model provides much needed support following a traumatic event. This level of wrap-around care fosters the ability for survivors to access immediate resources and decreases the risk of re-victimization.
“Prior to launching the Victim’s First program in Eagle County, survivors had to access FNE services in neighboring counties,” she went on to say. “Quite often, survivors declined FNE services due to the significant burden of travel following an assault. Our ability to offer these services in Eagle County promotes best practice in a trauma-informed manner for our survivors who are in need.”
SANE/FNE personnel are registered nurses who completed additional education and training to provide specific and comprehensive care to survivors of sexual assault. Having a local SANE/FNE program in Eagle County ensures that victims can receive immediate attention and the compassionate care they deserve.
Services not only include the physical examination but also behavioral health support. A Bright Future Foundation advocate provides exam support on site, as well as post-assault follow-up and introduction to Bright Future Foundation’s wrap-around services such as behavioral health care.
• Since the launch of the program on May 1, 2021, Bright Future Foundation advocates have supported 10 victims of sexual or physical assault through the collaborative Victims First Care program.
• 100% of victims choose to engage in Bright Future Foundation’s behavioral health services following their assault.
To learn more about the program visit mybrightfuture.org/victimfirstcare