HOUSTON – A team effort involving the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and several local agencies and police to help survivors of sexual assault and abuse.
For victims of sexual assault, this means instead of having to go to a hospital to have a rape kit performed and dealing with that additional stress, sexual assault nurse examiners will go right to them. Victims will no longer have to go from hospital to hospital looking for appropriate care.
They can also go directly to the Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners Clinic on Richmond Avenue in Upper Kirby or one of the satellite clinics that are being set up through a partnership with organizations like the Houston Area Women’s Center and The Bridge. Houston Police, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and The Harris County District Attorney’s Office are all working together with the sexual assault nurse examiners.
Those involved said this closes the gap for victims services. Police say sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes in Houston.
“That's going to be very important. That's going to provide a calmness to the victims so they can explain to the forensic nurse what happened and really capture that evidence. Nurses won't be under pressure like they are at the hospital. We can take time to find out what happened and use that in court for prosecution,” said D. Angelo, commander of the Houston Police Department.
This is all made possible through a grant. The Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners are working with surrounding county partners and hope to expand this program into Montgomery and Fort Bend counties.