Updates from Oregon: Training Nurses to Provide Care for Transgender Survivors of Sexual Assault

Last fall, Pride Foundation awarded a grant to the Oregon Sexual Assault Task Force to develop a training for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) on how to meaningfully provide medical-forensic care to transgender patients following a sexual assault.

Over 50% of transgender people have experienced sexual violence in their lives, and they are significantly less likely to seek care following an assault because so many have had negative experiences when accessing medical care, due to lack of knowledge, discrimination, or hostility from providers.

After months developing the curriculum in collaboration with experts from the transgender and medical communities, the training took place at the end of August in Eugene. This was the first training of its kind in Oregon—and one of the first in the country.

There were more than 30 nurses at the training, from as far north as Longview, WA and as far south as Klamath Falls, OR, and many in attendance served rural areas of the state. Every nurse in the room had, at some point, been called into an exam for a transgender survivor of sexual assault, which shows how vitally important this training is for providers across the state.

“Many of the nurses are from areas where their medical community is small and tight-knit, so the information we provided about caring for transgender patients could have reverberating effects, as they are now able to be a wealth of information to other medical providers,” said trainer Jose Cruz. “Even just understanding the importance of using someone’s correct pronoun can dramatically improve their healthcare.”

Pride Foundation will continue to invest in similar work across our region because it is one of many crucial steps toward ensuring that transgender people have access to healthcare that is both safe and well-informed.

Katie Carter is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Oregon. Email Katie.

Read the rest of the articles in the October eNews:

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