There is a national shortage of nurses and doctors trained to conduct sexual assault forensic exams. NBC News mapped where they are provided in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and how each structures its programs, using the best available data for each state. Providers are shown either by their location or what counties they cover. In some cases, multiple providers serve the same county. Read the full story: After a sexual assault, where can you get a medical and forensic exam?
After the story published, NBC News asked the International Association of Forensic Nurses, the organization with the largest listserv of providers, to put a call out for any missing programs. Forensic nurses around the country responded, and NBC News was able to add 93 additional programs to the more than 1,500-program database in Jan. 2021.
How NBC News did it
Reporters contacted every statewide coalition against sexual assault, state agencies, law enforcement offices, university training programs and dozens of program coordinators and individual examiners in an effort to understand the availability of sexual assault forensic exams around the country, first in December 2019, then in June 2020.
That availability varies widely state to state, as does the structure of training programs, laws and government oversight. Most states did not have regularly updated databases tracking where SANEs work and what facilities have programs. NBC News consulted advocates and administrators in states with minimal tracking on how best to map what is known about the state’s resources. A summary of each state’s services and any additional notes on how data was collected appears with each state.