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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 8, 2021 06:05 PM
From: Representative Bridget M. Kosierowski
To: All House members
Subject: Ensuring Comprehensive, Compassionate Care for Sexual Assault Survivors
In the moments after someone falls victim to sexual assault or rape, time freezes, leaving many survivors at a loss in what to do next. For many, the trauma is too shocking or painful to acknowledge or hold as the flashbacks of the event flicker nonstop in their mind. Many survivors are deterred from seeking emergency medical treatment for fear of the widespread consequences of living in a society that continues to silence and punish victims.
However, for those who bravely seek immediate medical attention, it is far too common for the holes in our healthcare training to fail these vulnerable and exploited individuals in their deepest time of need for competent medical care. Too often are survivors re-victimized by untrained medical staff, and worse, turned away from hospitals who are unable to administer the forensic examination needed.
It is imperative that our healthcare facilities adapt to the urgent need for tactful, trauma-informed medical care. That is why I am introducing legislation that would require all hospitals or their respective emergency departments to always have a certified sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) or sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) on staff. A thorough and accurate forensic examination has proven to be the difference maker in a survivor’s pursuit of justice and should be an inalienable right to survivors.
Please consider showing your support of this potentially life-saving legislation to demand justice for survivors of sexual assault and rape and to advance the fight on their behalf.

Introduced as HB1172