Grayson County Looks to Add Rape Kit Testing - - No One Gets You Closer

Grayson County Looks to Add Rape Kit Testing

 GRAYSON COUNTY, TX -- In Texas, one out of three women is a victim of sexual assault.

But in Grayson county, you may be surprised to learn victims have to take a trip to begin the process of prosecuting their attacker.

Late last week, a woman in Sherman reported being violently attacked and raped, but it was likely hours before she was able to be tested for evidence at a hospital.

The victim managed to give Sherman Police a decent description of what she said her attacker looked like, leading to a quick arrest, but getting answers for the victims next step likely took longer than expected.

"Any age any gender, they have to drive all the way down to Collin county or to Denton county to get examined," said Kendra Sikes, spokeswoman for Heritage Hill Surgery Center.

But that wasn't always the case. A couple years ago, hospitals in Grayson county had nurses standing by certified to treat sexual assault victims.

"No one kept it going," Sikes said.

The Grayson Crisis Center sees up to 800 sexual assault victims each year. Executive Director Rachel Morgan said victims have 72 hours or less to undergo a sexual assault exam after they're attacked.

"The idea of needing to travel somewhere else or needing to go through all of that, it's just too much," Sikes said. "They just say oh just forget about it."

The victim of this weekend's brutal sexual assault case went to a local emergency room like this one where she was treated for her wounds, but she was told she would have to go about an hour away to Plano to have a formal rape kit performed.

But the Crisis Center and Heritage Park Surgery Center don't want those victims forgotten. It hosted meetings Thursday to inform nurses who want to get certified to conduct sexual assault exams and administer rape kits.

"We're crossing our fingers and our toes, Sikes said. "Our hope is that we can have enough nurses that are interested that we can convince someone that is certified to teach this to come here to Sherman."

Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown also attended today's event, and is backing the effort. Certifying the nurses is a lengthy process. But if all goes as planned, Grayson County should be able to begin examining victims in 2015.