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Receiving a forensic medical exam without participating in the criminal justice process: What will it mean?

Price, Bonnie MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P1

Journal of Forensic Nursing: June 2010 - Volume 6 - Issue 2 - p 74–87
doi: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2009.01063.x
Original Articles

As a result of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization of 2005, state governments must develop processes by which victims of sexual assault can receive a forensic medical exam without being required to cooperate with law enforcement, or participate in the criminal justice system. The benefits and barriers of five different models are reviewed: nonreport evidence collection, anonymous report, confidential mandated reporting, victimless prosecution or nonparticipation approach, and the military model of restricted and unrestricted reporting. As a result of VAWA mandates, hospitals and forensic nursing programs are confronted with additional issues related to evidence handling, transfer, and storage. Implications: Forensic nurses will play an important role in bringing their individual jurisdictions into compliance with the VAWA mandates.

1Forensic Nurse Examiner Program, St. Mary's Hospital, Richmond, Virginia

Received: October 7, 2008; accepted: December 16, 2008

Correspondence Bonnie Price, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, Clinical Coordinator, Forensic Nurse Examiner Program Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, Richmond, VA 23226. Tel: 804–281–8574. E-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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