LewisGale to continue forensic nursing aimed at gathering evidence, treating victims of violent crimes
LewisGale Medical Center in Salem will continue its program that uses specially trained nurses to gather evidence while treating victims of rape, domestic violence, child abuse and other assault crimes.
Hospital officials had made an internal decision that beginning in November it would no longer guarantee that the certified forensic nurses would be available at all times. Instead, the four forensic nurses who have run the program were to become part of the regular emergency room nursing rotation.
But an outcry of support for the program from law enforcement and victim advocacy groups led LewisGale to put the decision on hold.
“We want to talk to those folks who have written us and who have expressed concern, so we are putting that decision on hold until we can talk to them and then re-evaluate,” LewisGale spokeswoman Nancy May said in October.
Now, the hospital has decided it will keep the program
“As a result of the concerns expressed by the community, the decision has been made to keep our forensic nursing program as it is,” said Joy Sutton, also a LewisGale spokeswoman.
The final decision coincides with a survey released earlier this week that found 1 in 4 women say they were violently attacked by their husbands or boyfriends.
The survey, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also found that 1 in 5 women say they were victims of rape or attempted rape.