At a recent news conference, NC Attorney General Josh Stein, US Rep. Deborah Ross, state Rep. Gale Adcock, and advocates spoke about their efforts to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in NC.
According to WRAL, Stein said on behalf of survivors, “What happened to you was wrong, was painful and we will do everything we can to deliver justice on your behalf.”
Stein said that the state is adding lab personnel to test the backlog of rape kits that hit an all-time high in 2019 at 16,000 untested kits. Recent testing has resulted in 63 arrests related to 91 assaults. “More than three-fourths of the kits that can be tested either have been tested, or are in the process of being tested, and we’re seeing results,” Stein said.
This recent conference followed Stein’s announcement earlier in April regarding an initiative his office had launched to train 50 additional Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), who are nurses that have have been specially trained in compassion care in response to sexual violence. North Carolina has few SANE nurses, and Stein’s goal is to help fill that gap in trauma care across the state. The initiative is due to launch by the end of the summer.
SANE nurses are trained by the Southern Regional Area Health Education Center, which is a partner of this initiative. Funding for training SANE nurses will come from the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021, which President Biden signed into law in March.