UF Health Shands opens exam room for sex assault victims – WCJB

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – UF Health Shands is celebrating the opening of their new exam room for sex assault victims in the emergency department. The private room was specifically designed to ease the victims of trauma.

The Sex Assault Nurse Examiners Team was granted $30,000 to enhance their program. The new private exam room is where they will be telling victims of sex assault that they are in a safe place.

Chairman of the County Commissioners Ken Cornell said “This funding was provided by the county and UF Health provided the space, and it shows that unfortunately there’s a need for this in our society.”

County leaders joined hospital staff in cutting the ribbon.

“When I first started in law enforcement, I can remember in the hallway of the Gainesville Police Department, interviewing a rape victim,” said Sheriff Sadie Darnell, who thinks this room will be more comfortable for nurses to do forensic work important in the first steps of rape investigations.

SANE Medical Director Dr. Cristina Zeretzke-Bien said, “We try to not let the room have a hospital feel, so we changed the paint to be a softer color, we picked very specific artwork. One was a piece that was called you are safe here, that was created by all of the members of SANE team and was featured in a local survivor art exhibit, also at the UF Harn Museum.”

County leaders hope to help people who enter this room not feel like a victim.

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