University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


The purpose of this research was to determine the existence of health care disparities experienced by Alaska Native women victims of sexual violence and to address the need for sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) to provide culturally competent care. This was a secondary data analysis of research collected from over 1,600 Alaska SANE surveys between 1996-2006. Variables investigated included: behaviors during examination, condition during assault, time from assault to report, hospital admittance, injuries sustained, and victim-suspect relationships. Alaska Native women were described as having less controlled behavior, being less cooperative, and less likely to be sober; they also often suffered more physically traumatic assaults than non-Hispanic white women victims. This research provides support for the need to include cultural competency training in the preparation curriculum for SANEs working with the Alaska Native population and urges SANEs to collaborate with cultural groups to ensure the delivery of culturally sensitive care.