Receiving Medical Care and a Forensic Exam

Receiving Medical Care and a Forensic Exam

Medical Care and Forensic Exam

If you choose to have a sexual assault forensic exam (sexual assault kit) or if you require treatment, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline to find a local health facility that is prepared to care for survivors: 800-656-4673.

For the preservation of evidence, it is best if you do not change your clothes or wash before the exam. However, you can seek treatment and report the occurrence at any time.

If you go to the emergency department of a hospital, be sure to tell the triage nurse that you would like to see a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse.

SANE is a team of female Registered Nurses who have been trained specifically to care for people who have been sexually assaulted within the past 72 hours. SANE nurses are available 24 hours a day, and usually arrive within an hour of being called.

By asking for a SANE nurse, you are not automatically reporting the assault to the police. The SANE nurse will ask you if you want to report to the police. If you do decide to report, the nurse will call the police for you.

If you do not want to report, the SANE nurse will do a physical and genital exam to assess any injuries that may have occurred. She will also talk with you and help to determine your risk for sexually transmitted diseases, and if you are female, for pregnancy. If these issues are a concern, the nurse will discuss treatment options such as emergency contraception and medicines to combat sexually transmitted diseases. She will also give you information about follow-up medical care.

Forensic Medical Exam Payment

Under a provision of the VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2005 (U.S.C.A. § 3796gg), states must ensure that survivors of sexual assault have access to a forensic medical exam, free of charge or with full reimbursement, even if you choose not to report the crime to the police or otherwise participate with law enforcement authorities or the criminal justice system.