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Law & Justice

Idaho State Police Earn Federal Grants To Standardize Rape Kit Training

James Dawson
Boise State Public Radio
Matthew Gamette, director of forensic services for Idaho State Police, at a press conference announcing two federal grants to help train more nurses in collecting rape kits statewide.

Nurses across Idaho will soon have a chance for more training when it comes to collecting evidence from victims of sexual assault.

That’s thanks to two federal grants totaling about $250,000. First, state police will hire someone to perform the training for up to 250 nurses. Eventually the training will be available online for those in rural communities.

Katherine Kerner oversees women’s services programs at St. Luke’s. She says the 40-hour course will help teach nurses how to best collect this evidence and also learn to be empathetic to these victims.

“These patients have definitely just gone through a traumatic event that will effect them the rest of their lives and these aren’t patients you can put a Band-Aid on and send out the door,” Kerner says.

The money will also buy the equipment needed to collect evidence of sexual assault if clinics or hospitals don’t already have them.

The kit includes “…a full camera, collection devices, all those kind of things that they need and we might train 10 nurses in that community,” says Matthew Gamette, director of forensics for Idaho State Police.

He says medical facilities that currently collect that evidence do a good job, but there needs to be more of them available.

Hospitals that have already signed up for the program include facilities in Cottonwood, Lewiston, Moscow, Orofino, Gooding, Emmett and Blackfoot, as well as St. Alphonsus and St. Luke's.

State police say they hope to have gear delivered and hold the first round of training by the end of the year.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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