Forensic nurses at St. Elizabeth give behind-the-scenes look at how they help abuse victims


COVINGTON, KY (WXIX) -Forensic nurses at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Covington gave FOX19 NOW a behind-the-scenes look at how they help victims of sex crimes and domestic abuse with the healing process.

The nurses say that when a victim comes to the ER, the victim most likely is having the worst days of their lives. So, the nurses collect evidence for prosecution and build emotional bonds with the victims.

Forensic nurse Jill Brummett says that the average victim age is between 18-30 years old.

To help gather evidence for the cases, the nurses examine the victims by taking pictures of bruising, swabbing the inside the mouth, etc.

This team gets called to do rape kits for domestic violence, sex crimes, human trafficking, elder abuse, and child abuse.

“The most we see is domestic violence. We did about 180 cases last year, and then right behind that is sexual assault, and we did about 160 cases,” Brummett said.

According to Brummett, they do their examination for more than just prosecution purposes.

“It’s actually to help healing. Help that patient start to heal, but it’s bonus if we can get prosecution and we can get good evidence,” Brummett said.

“We hear it on the news, and it goes to trial and that person’s prosecuted, and there’s justice for that patient, and that’s probably the most rewarding piece of it,” Shields said.

The nurses could not specify individual cases.

“We’re empowering them and we’re helping them start over, so that in turn empowers us to keep going,” Shields said.

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