In the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation study “Disparities Associated with Sexual Assaults and Abuses Identified by Hospitals in North Texas and Dallas County in 2010-2012” released this week, North Texas statistics involving sexual assault and abuse have been revealed for one of the first times in the region. The goal of the study was to detail community trends in reported sexual assaults and abuses in 15 North Texas counties. The report geographically located counties and zip codes with high incidences of sexual crimes to identify where resources were most needed.
Researchers collected the statistics from hospital-reported cases from the DFWHC Foundation’s database, which makes up 95 percent of the region’s hospitals. During the three-year span, North Texas averaged 2699 cases a year, with Dallas County averaging 1284 and Tarrant County 608. Dallas County had the highest number of hospital-reported cases, followed by Tarrant County, Collin County (221) and Denton County (160).
Results also identified cases according to age, gender, socio¬economic levels, race and ethnicity. Additional details included:
• The age for the highest number of reported cases was 10-14 years-old with 396 incidents, followed by ages 20-24 with 376;
• Females were victims in 87 percent of the reported cases;
• Victims 17-years-old or younger accounted for 48 percent of the reported cases;
• Victims were uninsured 43 percent of the time;
• Dallas County zip codes 75217, 75243, 75216 and 75228 had the highest number of incidents, with Tarrant County zip codes 76010, 76117, 76112 and 76119 having the most reported cases.
“This study serves as a guide when discussing social and public health in North Texas,” said Sushma Sharma, PhD, director of public and population health research in the DFWHC Foundation. “With this transparent identification of North Texas, we can more ef¬ficiently target the proper resources for prevention, advocacy and education.”
Inspired by the work of Courtney Underwood, co-founder of the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program began to take root in North Texas in 2010. The SANE program, which allows certified nurses to collect forensic evidence for rape kits, has provided a 95 percent increase in the successful prosecution of cases, according to the report. Today, Dallas County hospitals Children’s Health System, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Parkland Health and Hospital System and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, and Tarrant County hospitals Cook Children’s Health Care System, JPS Health Network and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, provide SANE services.
“We are grateful for the work of the DFWHC Foundation staff to provide these results,” said Kristin Jenkins, president of the DFWHC Foundation. “We are committed to providing crucial information for hospitals from our research and data. We believe this can initiate the necessary actions to promote public education and safety.”
To obtain a copy of the study, you can contact Dr. Sharma at email@example.com or call 972-719-4900.