ISP enhancing rural support for sex crime victims

In alignment with “Building Connected Communities,” the Idaho State Police (ISP) proudly announces its ongoing commitment to enhancing access to crucial support services for survivors of sexual assault throughout Idaho – especially in rural communities. As April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, ISP reaffirms its dedication to increasing public awareness and support for survivors across the state.

Recognizing the profound impact of sexual assault on individuals and communities, ISP underscores the importance of accessible and specialized care for survivors. Despite the challenging nature of this issue, ISP encourages survivors to seek immediate support by calling 911 and accessing care from a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) at local hospitals.

“Sexual assault is a pervasive issue that demands our collective attention and action. Survivors must receive the care and support they deserve, regardless of their location,” says Deb Wetherelt, Idaho SANE Coordinator with ISP. “Through our ongoing efforts, we aim to bridge the service gap to give survivors in rural communities access to specialized care and resources.”

In addition to training initiatives, ISP actively promotes and trains SANE nurses for certification by providing study resources as their expertise and dedication serve survivors and bolster the capacity of rural communities to provide specialized care for survivors.

Further, ISP is proud to announce the rebranding of the ten-year-old Idaho Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (ISAKI) working group as the Idaho Sexual Assault Response Team (ISART). ISAKI was initially created to address previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits in Idaho but quickly expanded to address additional sexual assault response issues in Idaho.

This group of state experts in the field of sexual assault prevention and response has helped draft legislation, developed policy and procedure, and guided statewide efforts that enhance law enforcement, medical, and support services for survivors. The new name for the group adds emphasis to the state’s collaborative team efforts in support of local Idaho communities addressing sexual assault response. The resources ISART continues to develop include:

• Nurse education and training
• Sexual assault evidence collection facilities in rural communities
• Soft” law enforcement interview rooms for survivors
• Law enforcement training and continuing education
• Establishment and support of local SARTs who will work in local communities throughout Idaho
• Research into sexual assault response in Idaho and publication of that research to inform policymakers

ISART continues under leadership provided by Idaho State Police Forensic Services.