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SANE Bags support assault victims in ED

When a victim of sexual assault arrives at the Emergency Department, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program is there to provide support. But the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to in-person availability for services around the clock.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program
From left, Deborah Perry, New England Regional SANE Coordinator, and Stephanie Bandoo, Lowell Ending Trafficking of Youth Project Manager, pose with the SANE bags donated by the Center for Hope and Healing.

To bridge that gap, the Center for Hope and Healing (CHH) recently donated a dozen SANE bags to the Lowell General ED to provide our patients access to support and services when a nurse examiner is not available. The bags include some clothing, personal care items and information on how CHH can help, as well as the bag too for them to carry belongings and discharge papers.

The CHH was founded in 1976 by a group of physicians, social workers, and students to focus on eradicating sexual violence in Greater Lowell and supporting survivors. Their staff of 20 and more than 30 volunteers provide year-round, 24/7 emergency hotline support and medical advocacy, including emergency room accompaniment for survivors.

“We are grateful that our relationship with Lowell General and the emergency department staff is strong,” said Nani Swaminathan, CHH’s Survivor Services manager. “We’ve got such strong advocacy on the medical side that we can innovate and be creative on how we get support to survivors.”

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