FAQs

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  • What is a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam?
    Answer:

    A sexual assault forensic exam is to collect evidence when appropriate for potential use within the criminal justice system, address a victim’s health care needs and make referrals.


  • How long can I wait before having an exam?
    Answer:

    You can get an exam up to 120 hours from the time the assault occurred


  • Where should I go/who should I call?
    Answer:

    If injured go to the nearest emergency room. You can contact the rape crisis hotline (866) 891-7273 or 911.


  • Do I have to call Law Enforcement?
    Answer:

    ​No. You have the right to have an exam without making a report to law enforcement.


  • What is Rape/Sexual Assault?
    Answer:

    Rape is “Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent.


  • What is an advocate?
    Answer:

    Victim advocates are trained to provide support to victims of crime. Advocates will provide emotional support, information about your rights; provide 24 hour crisis response to law enforcement, hospitals and the crime scene. They may also assist with injunction for protections, court accompaniment, assist with filing State Crime Victim Compensation applications, referral for individual therapy, support groups and available resources.


  • What is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurse?
    Answer:

    A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a registered nurse who has specialized education and clinical experience in the collection of forensic evidence and the evaluation/treatment of victims of sexual assault.


  • What will happen when I make a report to Law Enforcement?
    Answer:

    If you chose to be contacted a victim advocate will be available to provide services throughout the process. You will be given options based on the information you provide. This could include getting a sexual assault exam or meeting with law enforcement to provide details regarding your assault.


  • What if I don’t know what happened?
    Answer:

    Memory loss is common with victims of trauma. Reporting what you do remember, such as where you were and who you were with prior to your memory loss, can be very important. Often there are investigative steps that can be taken to help determine what happened. If you are experiencing loss of memory, contact police as soon as possible so available evidence may be preserved.


  • I think the statute of limitations is up on my case. Can I still report?
    Answer:

    Yes. There may be other aspects of your case that may be prosecutable. A victim advocate is available to assist you to understand your options. Research shows that often those who perpetrate sexual offenses have multiple victims.


  • What if I don’t want the suspect arrested?
    Answer:

    ​Law enforcement will investigate as much or as little of your case as you request. They make every effort to respect the wishes of each victim, particularly regarding arrest and prosecution. In rare cases a suspect may be arrested without a victim’s consent. Examples include cases of domestic violence, child sexual assault or a threat to public or personal safety.


  • Why should I have an exam/evidence collected?
    Answer:

    If you are not sure whether to have a forensic exam a victim advocate will assist you through your decision making process, supporting whatever choices you make. It can be beneficial to have evidence collected during the allotted time frame in case you later decide to report the assault to law enforcement.


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