An eastern Iowa hospital has widened the scope of its 24-seven team that responds to rape victims. The emergency department at Genesis Medical Center West in Davenport is now home to the Sexual Assault Resource Program. While there are 13 similar programs in Iowa, this program is the first of its kind in the Quad Cities and the only one in Iowa coordinated to address both adults -and- children. Director and R-N Nancy Groth explains it coordinates medical professionals, law enforcement and social workers to treat, investigate, counsel and offer legal advice to victims of sexual assault. When a victim arrives, Groth does a forensics exam as part of the initial medical treatment, during which observations about the victim’s injuries are recorded and D-N-A is collected for the criminal investigation. Referrals are then made to other professionals on the team who provide appropriate help, including counseling and guidance through the legal system. While a nurse’s life is already tough, Groth says this new job is full of both negatives and positives.Groth says a study out this month finds — of the one-point-one million women in Iowa, 145-thousand will be raped at least once in their lives, and 87-percent of them won’t report it.
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