Sexual assault can happen to anyone...
men and women.
Sexual Assault should be reported to Law Enforcement.
Your report of sexual assault will not only open the door to services necessary for your own recovery, but it can also be valuable in the prevention of sexual assault to others.
Patients 12 years of age and older may sign for themselves for the forensic examination.
It is best if evidence collection is done within 96 to 120 hours of the event. Biological evidence deterioriates rapidly and the sooner the event is reported the sooner evidence can be collected and the more likely that biological evidence can be recovered.
Exams are done with the authorization of law enforcement. The forensic sexual assault exam is at no cost to the patient.
If you have not notified law enforcement, the sexual assault center will assist you with that process.
What should you do if you are sexually assaulted?
Immediately notify the law enforcement agency in whose jurisdiction the event took place. Why? Because not every hospital is equipped to care for sexual assault patients. If you go to a hospital, that does not have a sexual assault program, you may be charged for an unnecessary visit. Law enforcement knows which SANE programs they use and will make sure that you get a forensic examination.
It is best not to take a shower, brush your teeth, or eat or drink anything.
Do not change or wash the clothes that you were wearing. The nurse examiner may want to collect your clothes. If you do change your clothes, give the clothes you were wearing, to law enforcement; it may contain valuable evidence. Bring some extra clothes with you to wear home from the exam in case your clothing is collected.
It is not uncommon for someone to wait a period of time before reporting a sexual assault.
If you have taken a shower, brushed your teeth, or had something to eat or drink, don't let that stop you from making this most important report. Remember, you have at least 96 hours to make that initial call for an acute exam. Anything after 96 hours will be evaluated as a non-acute exam, on a case by case basis.
What will happen at the SANE Center?
The forensic nurse will meet you and explain her role.
An advocate will be called to help support you through the process.
The nurse will take a medical history and make sure that you are alright.
The nurse examiner will conduct a private interview so you can tell her what happened and how you feel.
The nurse will examine you and take photographs of any injuries you may have sustained.
The nurse examiner will collect specimens for analysis by the crime lab.
The nurse examiner will discuss preventative measures for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy, with you.
The nurse examiner will give you information and referrals for your care.
You may ask the nurse examiner anything that you have questions about.
You will be discharged with aftercare instructions. If you do not feel safe going to your home, arrangements will be make for a place where you can feel safe.
The forensic report and evidence will be turned over to law enforcement for investigation.
Do you have more questions?
You may call or email the office for more information.
Forensic Nurse Professionals
Simi Valley, California