Have You Been Assaulted?
We’re here to support you.
Sexual assault can include touch, force or coercion by an acquaintance, someone you know well or by a stranger. It can happen at home, school, a friend’s house, on the job, in a car, day or night, anywhere, anytime. Sexual assault is a crime and should be reported to the police. Women, men and children who have experienced sexual assault are in need of specialized care that our SANE program can provide.
Being sexually assaulted can be one of the most painful, confusing and frightening things that can happen to a person. The most important thing for you to understand is that it is not your fault. It is natural to experience feelings such as anger, disbelief, fear, humiliation, shame, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, lack of trust and guilt. With time and support from our SANE team and your loved ones, these feelings can subside.
Through the SANE Program, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner is available 24/7 to examine and take special care of you. A victim’s advocate will also be called in to assist you with any needs you may have. This care begins in the emergency room. If you wish, the advocate can stay with you as your support system during the exam. If you feel you need to see a doctor, you may also request the presence of a physician at any time during the exam.
What to expect during the SANE exam:
- The exam consists of your medical history, your account of the assault, a head-to-toe exam, a genital exam and forensic evidence collection.
- Most exams take approximately 90 minutes to complete. However, each case is different so exam times may vary. The SANE nurse will explain everything to you before the exam begins.
- The nurse will ask you details of the assault to determine where to look for injury and evidence. Your nurse will write down everything you tell them.
- The nurse will perform a pregnancy test for women and provide you with medication to prevent sexually transmitted infections.
- The nurse will look for and treat any injury that may have occurred.
- You have the right to refuse any part of the exam. Please be aware that if the nurse does not perform certain steps of the exam, it may be more difficult to prosecute your case in court. Remember, you do not have to agree to any part of the exam that you do not want to have done.
- A victim’s advocate will be available to provide you with support, as needed, at your request.