Thursday, October 29, 2020
  Around Campus

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY – UTRGV recently received a grant that will help support and empower sexual assault survivors and victims.  

Awarded by the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), it helps establish a program that will permit on-campus access to Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs).   

OVC awarded almost $4 million to eight institutions in the country; $499,948 of that was awarded to UTRGV.  

The grant will establish or expand SANE programs, which offer medical forensic care, advocacy and other victim services to sexual assault survivors on college campuses.  

With assistance from the South Texas Forensic Nurse Project (STFNP), the program at UTRGV will: 

  • Increase the number of certified SANEs in the Valley. 
  • Promote forensic nursing as a career path for future nurses.  
  • Provide more comprehensive and thorough advocacy for victims and survivors on campus.  
  • Address the needs of victims and survivors by confronting and dispelling harmful stereotypes and stigmas surrounding violence victimization, especially sexual violence. 

Made up of four main components – Student Health, Undergraduate Nursing, Graduate Nursing, and SART (Sexual Assault Response Teams) – the project will both expand existing programming and create new programming. 

In addition, the SANE grants will allow universities to create a pipeline of highly skilled registered nurses that support victims of sexual assault and hold offenders accountable. 

This project is a collaboration between several UTRGV departments, including the Office for Victim Advocacy & Violence Prevention (OVAVP), Student Health, the School of Nursing, and other campus and community partners.  

To learn more about UTRGV’s advocacy and counseling services, visit


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.