Stanford Hospital Adds Services For Sexual Assault Victims

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By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

Stanford Hospital is adding a new service that's especially designed to make it easier for sexual assault victims to quickly get the care they need.

Beginning early next year, a trained team of nurses from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center will open a new 24-hour on-call center at Stanford Health Care to provide special exams for victims of sexual assault.

Currently, sexual assault victims who turn to Stanford's hospital in Palo Alto  actually get sent elsewhere for a forensic medical examinaiton. 

“We would have to transfer that patient to Santa Clara County Medical Center,” said Professor Sam Shen, with Stanford University School of Medicine. Shen said Santa Clara currently has all related resources, which no additional locations. In fact, the same is true for hospitals throughout Santa Clara County.

Roughly 40% of undergraduate women at Stanford University said they have experienced nonconsensual sexual contact in 2018, according to a survey released by the college in October. 

County Supervisor Joe Simitian said the idea is to cut down travel time for victims who are already in the midst of a traumatic experience.

“We’ve got to make sure that folks are getting the right kind of help, in the right kind of setting, as quickly as possible, and as sensitively as possible,” Simitian said.

The new 24-hour sexual assault help center is scheduled to open in February.