SAFE Nurses

Emergency Medicine

At the St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Department, Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) nurses are ready to care for you or your family member who has been sexually assaulted. They are a comprehensive violence program that provides trauma-informed care for all survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse/neglect, child sexual abuse, and dependent adult abuse/neglect.

They provide a comprehensive medical forensic examination including evidence collection and have the ability to act as a factual or expert witness if needed in court.

Our nurses are also trained in photo documentation and can document your injuries as a result of an assault for your medical record.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, adults may come to an emergency room and receive medical care without reporting to the police.

You can expect a confidential medical screening, and treatment for any injuries you have. You can get treatment for sexually transmitted infections as well as pregnancy prophylaxis if it is within 5 days. You will also be connected to advocacy services. If you would like, a nurse can collect evidence that can potentially be used later in a trial. All care is patient driven. Everything is a personal choice. We realize you have just been through a traumatic experience. We are here to care for you and do what is best for each individual.

No. A sexual assault evidence kit (SAK) can be done anonymously. Nurses give kits to the police with no name on them. Patients are given a number that matches the kit that belongs to them. Police will keep anonymous kits for eight years. Patients may report at any time, or not at all.

No. We can make arrangements while you are at the hospital to have them come here if you prefer. You may also prefer to go home and rest and talk to them the next day. Again, this is your choice.

During your emergency room visit, when possible, be ready to provide insurance information. There are victim compensation guidelines for sexual assault patients who have evidence collected. Otherwise, services are typically billed to insurance. Our first priority is to provide safe, compassionate care. Everyone’s situation is different. They will help to provide you with information and connect you with those who can help provide payment options.

(207) 907-1000
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