Enhancing care for sexual assault victims in underserved communities.
The first step toward healing.
No matter where victims of sexual assault live, they should be able to access expert care. And no matter where nurses work, they should have the support of a network of experts when dealing with sexual assault cases. Having a forensic exam performed with expert nursing assistance via telehealth can be the first step toward healing, providing patients with a safe, supported environment.
“Every nurse deserves peer support and every victim deserves expert care—no matter where you live.”
Sheridan Miyamoto, Director, Penn State Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center
How We Work
The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center (SAFE-T Center) was launched with support from the Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime as a solution to enhance access to high quality sexual assault care in underserved communities. When a sexual assault examination is performed at one of our partner hospitals, one of SAFE-T Center’s expert nurses participates through telehealth. The expert nurse appears on a screen where she can talk to, and support, both the on-site nurse and the patient. Through our specialized digital telehealth technology, she can also see the live exam in progress, ensuring best practices, proper evidence collection and a safe, helpful environment for the patient.
Equality of Care Wherever You Live
Promoted by evidence-backed solutions
24/7 Expert Nurses
Support on-site nurses during exams
Better Images and Documentation
For diagnosis and use in court
Proven Secure Infrastructure
For handling sensitive digital material
24/7 Technical Support
To troubleshoot telehealth solutions
Lets nurses focus on the patient
Training and Education
For preparation, peer networking, and support
We want to increase the confidence and skills of clinicians who conduct forensic exams. With support from the SAFE-T Center, we will retain more sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) in their jobs because they will know a more experienced SANE has their back.
Former Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime
Executive Director, End Violence Against Women International
Who We Serve and How We Help
With SAFE-T Center, you have access to an expert nurse when you need it most: as you are performing examinations. The SAFE-T Center nurses help by enhancing your own expertise, ensuring that you do not have to do this difficult work in isolation.
Research has shown that people living in rural areas experience significant health disparities, including quality sexual assault care. By providing expertise through telehealth, SAFE-T Center helps address these disparities for victims of sexual assault. We help local forensic nurses with real-time support, quality assurance, and peer review throughout the exam—a proven gold standard of care.
Sexual assault examinations can be technically and emotionally difficult, and staff performing these exams may be difficult to retain. SAFE-T Center helps administrators train and retain talented nurses by offering quality assurance, peer support, mentorship, and on-demand training. We can help your nurses do a better job and feel confident in their work.
District Attorneys and Law Enforcement
SAFE-T Center strengthens forensic evidence collection and documentation by ensuring that best practices are used; best practices are supported through ongoing feedback, training, and quality assurance of peer review of examinations. The SAFE-T Center helps to develop competent and confident nurse examiners who can provide accurate testimony when needed.
Serving rural and underserved areas through telehealth.
Rural and underserved communities often struggle to support specialized medical practices such as forensic exams. With the support of SAFE-T Center, each of our partner sites has access to experienced professionals for telehealth support during forensic exams, training for nurses and health care professionals, and community education.
SAFE-T Center Team
Sheridan Miyamoto, PhD, FNP, RN
Lorah Dorn, PhD, CPNP
Dennis Scanlon, PhD, MA
Daniel Perkins, PhD, MS
Evaluation Team Lead
Hui Zhao, PhD, MS, MS
Diane Berish, PhD, MA
Cynthia Bittner, RN, BS
Clinical & Administration
Sarah Watson, MA
Elizabeth Thiede, BSN, RN
Jana French, MS, BSN, RN, SANE-A
Clinical Education & Training Coordinator
Faith Mong, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P
Clinical Education & Training Coordinator
Since Cindy Forbes, R.N., became a sexual assault forensic nurse examiner seven years ago, she has been the only specialized examiner in her rural community of Lakeport, California. "If my victims aren't getting rape exams here, they aren't getting rape exams," said...read more
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Forensic nursing has emerged as a discipline to help curb the harmful effects that sexual assault victims face. According to the International Association of Forensic Nurses, “forensic nursing is the practice of nursing globally when health and...read more
NCVRW was commemorated on April 7–13, 2019. This year’s theme—Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future.—celebrates the progress made by those before us as we look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and...read more
Sheridan Miyamoto, Ph.D., FNP, RN, assistant professor in the Penn State College of Nursing, is principle investigator for an innovative project designed to use telehealth to ensure positive, timely, and thorough forensic examinations for victims of sexual assault in...read more
By Mariah Bohanon - INSIGHT into Diversity - University Park, Pa. — Nurses are often the first and possibly the only professionals — whether medical or legal — that a survivor of sexual violence has contact with following an assault, yet many clinics and hospitals do...read more
SAFE-T Director Co-Presenting “Using Telehealth to Increase the Quality of Forensic-Medical Evidence Collection and Deliver Trauma-Informed Care” Webinar
Using Telehealth to Increase the Quality of Forensic-Medical Evidence Collection and Deliver Trauma-Informed Care Webinar Thursday, December 13th, 2018 10:00 AM PT/11:00 AM MT/12:00 PM CT/1:00 PM ET Duration This webinar is approximately 90 minutes long....read more