A disproportionate percentage of those incarcerated have a history of sexual violence and mental health challenges. These factors are attributed to the high rates of sexual violence in detention centers (Zweig and Blackmore’s 2008). The use of telemedicine can improve access to high quality forensic medical care while ensuring the safety of correctional and medical staff and eliminating the need to transfer inmates out of prison for examinations.
Sexual assault in the military poses unique challenges for reporting and response.
The Department of Defense established the Sexual Assault Prevention Office (SAPRO) to enhance prevention, improve treatment, support of victims, and increase accountability (DoD, 2005). The United States Navy collaborated with the National TeleNursing Center at the onset of the pilot project. Currently, two US Navy Medical Treatment Facilities receive 24/7 support from the NTC.
Geographic isolation, lack of public transportation, and difficulty accessing health care are added challenges for victims of sexual assault in rural communities (Lewis, 2003). Underreporting may be higher due to a lack of anonymity and the close connection of law enforcement to the rural social network. (Weisheit, Wells & Falcone, 1995). A successful relationship with the community of Lake County, CA has been established with the TeleNursing Center.
Native Americans have experience more sexual assault than other racial ethnic groups and have a history of sexualized violence. The relationship of Native American to law enforcement and health care has been fraught with barriers (Robin, 1996; Tjaden, 2000). The National TeleNursing Center is proud to be collaborating with, Indian Health Services to provide improved response to sexual assault to the Hopi tribe in Arizona.