Kentucky rape crisis advocates and attorney general launch hospital training tool

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WSAZ) -- In Kentucky, one in two women and one in 16 men will be victim to sexual assault. Since 2010, more than 812,000 women have reported an assault, as well as more than 300,000 men who have.

A new training tool is being sen to Kentucky hospitals to better train emergency staff on how to handle sexual assault victims.

It's why the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP), the Kentucky Hospital Association, and the state attorney general have launched a training video that will be sent to hospitals across Kentucky aimed at helping hospital employees provide victim-centered care to survivors of sexual assault.

The video is an overview of survivors' rights, the role of rape crisis advocates, legal requirements for hospitals under the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) Act and how to conduct an exam in a victim-centered manner, which seeks to minimize retraumatization associated with the criminal justice process.

"Undergoing a sexual assault forensic exam can be daunting and painful, but it can also help survivors who are just beginning a long journey of healing," said KASAP executive director, Eileen Recktenwald. "All victims deserve swift, compassionate, trauma-informed care when they walk into an emergency department in the aftermath of a sexual assault. We hope this video, produced in consultation with doctors and nurses, helps health care professionals understand their legal responsibilities and provide high quality, victim-centered care."

Kentucky has 13 rape crisis centers across the state. In our region, there are three local agencies victims can turn to:

  • Mountain Comprehensive Care Center's Healing Program for Survivors of Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence 150 South Front St., Prestonsburg, Ky. (606) 886-8572

  • Women's Crisis Center 111 East Third St., Maysville, Ky. (859) 491-3335

  • Pathways Victim Services, Ashland, Ky. (606) 324-1141