Some pain stays with you forever, like the memory of a sexual assault.
"The rape itself lasted for seconds but the actual process of getting a rape kit done lasted the whole day and that was the most traumatizing part," said Tiana Hogans.
You can't get a rape kit done just anywhere. Many women have to bounce from hospital to hospital trying to get one, and some eventually give up. That means they don't get treated, and the rapists are free to strike again.
Hogans had to go to not one, not two, but five hospitals to find a place to do the test. That's a major problem. Not all hospitals have the trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE, on staff, let alone on staff around the clock. A properly trained nurse is critical to properly treat the patient and preserve any evidence for court, but now there's a new way.
It's called Texas Forensic Nurse Examiners. It's a non-profit organization that's the brainchild of Khara Breeden. It's a clinic where rape victims can go to get a kit performed as well as get access to services. They also can send staff to partnered hospitals and places like the Houston Area Women's Center.
"We're trying to do some exciting stuff and meet the community where they are, and really help fill this gap because our patients deserve better,” says Breeden.
They can also go with law enforcement to domestic violence calls. They have eight staffers. Nurse practitioner Katie Daniels is one of them, and got her SANE training after watching victims come into her ER and they weren't equipped.
"At the time I thought this was an injustice to the patient, because I wanted to be able to provide the best care to my patient and knowing I needed to provide this care," she said.
By the end of May, they hope to have round-the-clock staffing and they want to expand into as many locations as they can. Big dreams perhaps, but there’s a big need too.
You might think it's too late to help Hogans, but she doesn't
"It's still happening to me, because every woman that it happens, to it happens to me."
The center runs on grant money. If the grant money goes away, the center might too. That’s means survivors will go back to square one.