This presentation will highlight the value of partnerships between clinicians and advocates in the development of a trauma-informed, patient-centered teleSAFE program.

Medical-forensic examinations are a critical part of any multidisciplinary response to sexual violence. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs have become the standard of care for jurisdictions around the country and advocacy accompaniment is best practice. However, many remote and rural areas still do not have specialized sexual assault care or access to medical advocates to accompany the patient during the exam.

A national TA provider and two national advocate partners worked closely with the Office for Victims of Crime and the demonstration site clinicians as part of the Using Telehealth to Improve Care, Access and Quality of Sexual Assault Forensic Exams grant project. The goal was to partner clinicians with local advocacy agencies, aiming to provide medical and advocacy accompaniment during the teleSAFE medical forensic exam.

This session will share tips and techniques used to initiate communication and engagement between clinicians and advocates. The presenters will provide video examples of a teleSAFE consultation and explore the role of the sexual assault advocate during the exam. Challenges unique to rural communities will be discussed, as well as technical assistance resources addressing issues of capacity and access to advocacy, and ideas for collaborative plans to strive for medical and advocacy accompaniment during teleSAFE exams.


Barbara Scheaffer, Diane Daiber, Gina Scaramella

Area of Focus

Advocacy and Intervention for Survivors