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Forensic Healthcare



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Individuals who have experienced violent crimes such as sexual assault, abuse, intimate partner violence, domestic violence, or other victimizations deserve competent and compassionate care from health professionals who are trained to provide medical forensic care and treatment. Forensic healthcare providers are typically registered nurses, but are also advanced practice nurses (e.g., Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Sexual Assault Examiner, Forensic Nurse Examiner - SANE/SAE/FNE), physicians, and physician assistants. They provide medical treatment and evaluation, have a specialized knowledge in injury identification, collect evidence, and provide testimony in a court of law to assist with prosecution of individuals who commit acts of abuse.

The IHS forensic healthcare program was established in 2011 to address sexual violence, and has expanded to include intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse. The program trains providers in forensic medical examinations, evidence collection techniques, and in coordinated community response to address violence.

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