Measuring violence: Vicarious trauma among sexual assault nurse examiners

Jennifer Wies, Kathleen Coy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are now commonplace in the continuum of care for victims of sexual violence in the United States. The presence of SANE programs has increased precision in the use of rape kits, improved patient care, and increased the effectiveness of expert court testimony. However, SANEs are exposed to a working environment that demands a professional response to devastating acts of trauma and violence perpetrated towards adults and children. This exploratory article presents the rates of vicarious trauma found among the SANE sample as reported through the 17-item Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale to understand the extent of secondary victimization among these service providers. By placing vicarious trauma within the context of sexual violence victimization, we expose a hidden "site" of violence and call for expanding our definition of "victim" of gender-based violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • gender-based violence
  • nurses
  • social suffering
  • vicarious trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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