FRANKFORT – Legislation to ensure that medical professionals — who have always been at the forefront of identifying sexual assault and violence — receive sexual violence awareness training passed out of the Senate and is headed for the House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 238, sponsored by Senator Denise Harper Angel (D-Louisville), amends the continuing education requirements for medical professionals to include three hours of training in sexual violence awareness.
“This is a positive step for victims of sexual violence and assault in regards to ensuring they get the assistance they need,” said Harper Angel. “Senate Bill 238 will make sure our first line medical responders are being trained on identifying sexual violence and the resources that are available to the victims.”
The curriculum for physicians, physician assistants and nurses is to include the prevalence of sexual violence in Kentucky, legal requirements, model protocols for emergency facilities, and identification of community resources. The curriculum for emergency medical technicians is to include reporting and care options, pre-hospital treatment considerations, knowledge of rape crisis centers, and how to access the SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner)-ready contact list.
The legislation does not require the medical professionals to have additional hours of training and there will not be any fiscal impact.
“Senate Bill 238 ensures the victims of sexual violence and assault receive the best and most compassionate, consistent care available,” Harper Angel further explained.
Harper Angel has successfully passed two pieces of legislation in recent years ensuring that sexual assault kits are tested. Under Senate Bill 63, known as the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence (SAFE) Act 2016, standards were set for the handling of kits by law enforcement, along with a timeline for testing. In 2015, she passed Senate Joint Resolution 20, which called for an audit of untested sexual assault kits in the possession of law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth and the Kentucky State Police crime lab. The audit discovered that there were at least 3,090 untested sexual assault kits.
Senator Harper Angel represents the 35th senatorial district that includes a portion of Jefferson County.