“Growing with us”: Supporting Victim Survivors in Partnership with Penn State

As Lancaster County’s Rape Crisis Center, YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center is proud to hold partnerships with all of the major hospitals in the County. There, our medical advocates work with healthcare professionals and SANEs (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) to offer support and resources to victim survivors of sexual assault during their SAFEs (Sexual Assault Forensic Exams).

“As we were growing our team, YWCA Lancaster was right there with us and it’s like we’re growing together.” said Kristin Jens, Nurse Manager in the Emergency Department at Penn State’s Lancaster Medical Center, and former SANE. In addition to supporting victim survivors in the ER, YWCA Lancaster has also partnered with Penn State to ensure that all new clinicians and nurses to do trauma-informed trainings.

At the Lancaster Medical Center, SANE nurses are implementing a new form of support, called SAFE-T, which allows a healthcare professional to support the SAFE exam via telehealth to assist SANE nurses and YWCA Lancaster medical advocates. “It’s like a peer review that’s there at all times,” which provides an extra layer of support, “they might be able to identify discomfort or something about the patient while the SANE nurse is occupied doing the exam, so it’s a great collaboration between the nurse, YWCA staff, and the telehealth provider.”

“I debrief with all the nurses, and they’ve had great interactions with the YWCA. They find it so beneficial that someone is there to support the patient while they’re working on evidence collection and documentation which can be very time consuming, which is so helpful.”

YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center is proud to partner with Penn State Health, Lancaster General Health, UPMC, and countless supporters and collaborators across governments and organizations to care for victim survivors. We are committed to building our shared movement to support survivors, as well as end sexual violence in Lancaster County. Thank you to Kristin and to the dedicated team at Penn State Lancaster Medical Center for their partnership!



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