(Mission, TX) April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In order
to promote awareness of the impact sexual assault has on our community
and to support efforts to eradicate sexual assault and abuse, Mission
Regional Medical Center is hosting two separate professional trainings.
Texas law enforcement agencies reported an average of 339 violent crimes
per day in 2008. This daily average accounts for 4 Murders, 22 Forcible
Rapes, and 209 Aggravated Assaults in the Lone Star State. Statistically,
about 10 of these violent crimes occur in Hidalgo County—and that’s
just what is reported to law enforcement.
“Unfortunately, sexual assault and abuse are the most under-reported
crimes; largely because an estimated 90% of all victims know the person
who harms them,” explains Marianna Treviño Wright, Director
of The Foundation at Mission Regional Medical Center. “In response
to the community’s growing need for services to address the incidence
of these crimes, Mission Regional Medical Center created The S.A.F.E.
The S.A.F.E. Place is open to everyone. It is staffed 24/7 by a certified
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner and equipped with a state-of-the-art Secure
Digital Forensic Imaging Camera. Victims of violence and abuse may be
referred to Mission Regional Medical Center’s Forensic Unit by agencies
throughout Hidalgo County, or come in on their own through the hospital’s
Emergency Department. The S.A.F.E. Place is a special project of The Foundation
at Mission Regional Medical Center, a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) acute care
hospital. To donate funds in support of this project, please visit
“All victims of abuse, assault and neglect are encouraged to seek
medical evaluation as soon as possible for proper treatment,” states
Evonne Lopez, R.N., S.A.N.E. “In order to increase the number of
certified nurses available to treat victims in South Texas, the Sexual
Assault Nurse Examiner’s (SANE) course will be offered at Mission
Regional Medical Center, to Registered Nurses with a minimum of two years’
This 8-day training, provided by the Office of the Attorney General of
the State of Texas, is required prior to receiving clinical training for
those interested in pursuing SANE certification. This course will be taught
April 6-9, and April 20-23; it is open to all qualified candidates in
South Texas, and free of charge. To enroll, please register online at
Additionally, the Sexual Assault and Family Violence Investigator’s
Course (SAFVIC) for police cadets and law enforcement officers will be
offered at Mission Regional Medical Center on
April 16-18. Officers attending and successfully completing the course will receive
24 hours TCLEOSE credit.
“In Hidalgo County, and in Texas, sexual assault and family violence
issues are growing,” states Sergeant Dan Walden, SAFVIC instructor.
“However, the amount of instruction and resources available to officers
called to deal with these issues is disproportionate to the number of
calls received. Our goal is to give law enforcement officers the tools
and training they need to respond effectively, investigate properly, and
prevent family violence and sexual assault.”
To enroll in the SAFVIC at Mission Regional Medical Center, go to
http://www.safvic.org, and click on “Register for an Event”, or call
956.323.1102 for more information.