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|What is a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam? |
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?|
You can get an exam up to 120 hours from the time the assault occurred
|Where should I go/who should I call?|
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?|
No. You have the right to have an exam without making a report to law enforcement.
|What is Rape/Sexual Assault?|
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?|
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?|
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
|What will happen when I make a report to Law Enforcement?|
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?|
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?|
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
|What if I don’t want the suspect arrested?|
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?|
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.