The Blair Dickey-White Sexual Assault Survivor Program
The Blair Dickey-White Sexual Assault Survivor Program recognizes the complex, multi-layered needs of assault victims. The program aims to provide comprehensive care addressing both the immediate and long term needs of survivors with a focus on healing and recovery. We are a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers specialized in forensics training and trauma informed care principles.
To care for survivors’ physical, social, emotional, and psychological needs after trauma by providing confidential, compassionate, individualized, patient-centered care while respecting survivor’s autonomy. We work to pave a path of healing and ultimately reduce the harmful effects of sexual and intimate partner violence leaving our communities a healthier place.
The Blair Dickey-White Sexual Assault Survivor Program was named in honor of Blair and her vision to end silent suffering of victims. The program is committed to ensure the highest level of care for victim survivors through comprehensive services, advocacy, and a focus on healing.
Stephanie L. Gaines, MD is the Endowed Director of the Blair Dickey-White Sexual Assault Survivor Program. She brings passionate expertise in leading the Dickey-White Survivor program and serves as the program’s inaugural director. She is committed to expanding the program’s services through sustainable practices that fulfill the program’s mission and are in alignment with University Hospitals’ vision for care.
About the Program
- What is a SANE Nurse?
Sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) are registered nurses who have completed specialized forensic training in the care and treatment of sexual assault and intimate partner violence victims. The nurse provides evidence documentation for all assaults regardless of whether or not the patient chooses to report to law enforcement.
- Have You Been Sexually Assaulted?
Sexual assault can include touch, force or coercion by an acquaintance, someone you know well or by a stranger. It can happen anywhere at any time. Sexual assault is a crime. Any person who has experienced assault is in need of the specialized care that our program provides.
- You Are a Survivor
You have survived a confusing, painful and frightening experience. The most important thing to understand is that it is not your fault. It is normal to experience feelings of shame, disbelief, fear, humiliation, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, guilt and loss of trust. Counseling and support can help these feelings subside over time.
- What to Expect During the SANE Exam
The SANE will explain everything to you before the exam begins. You have the right to refuse any part of the exam.
The exam consists of:
- A medical screening exam and care of your injuries
- Documenting your account of the assault
- A head-to-toe exam looking for injuries and evidence
- A genital exam and forensic evidence collection
The nurse will perform a pregnancy test for women and provide medication to prevent sexually transmitted infections. A victim's advocate will be available, with your permission, to provide support as needed.
- Our Commitment to Caring
We are a member of the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), and work collaboratively with law enforcement, victim advocacy groups and the justice system. We are trained for courtroom testimony, can provide testing for drug-facilitated assault, and provide coordination and linkage to resources.