Sexual assault victims are having to travel farther for exams

Pampa, TX - Sexual assault victims in the Pampa area are having to travel to Amarillo just to receive the proper exam, causing an increase in stress for many.

Pampa has been without a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or a SANE since September and officials say it is causing more stress for the victims, law enforcement and prosecutors.

The 31st District Attorney's Office says after an assault it is already stressful on the victim to undergo first the trauma from the assault, so having to travel and be put in an unfamiliar situation makes the recovery even harder.

"If we get a call from Lipscomb, you know that victim will have to drive from Lipscomb to Pampa and then from Pampa to Amarillo and should just be an hour or two ends up being an all day thing," said Jason Ferguson, the Assistant District Attorney.

We spoke with the last SANE nurse and she says because there has recently, been a decrease in the patients, she was unable to keep up with the needed skills to be part of these sensitive cases.

The Pampa Regional Medical Center says they are unsure when they will get another SANE nurse, so for the time being victims will continue travel to Amarillo.