Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Exams and (SAFE) Exams

Federal legislation mandates that, regardless of whether or not a victim chooses to make a report to law enforcement, s/he has a right to seek a forensic medical examination free of charge at a local hospital following a sexual assault. If you choose to go to your local hospital to be seen after a sexual assault, you can request that an advocate be present to help you understand your options and to support you (Nelson, 2012).

If you choose to have evidence collected after a sexual assault, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or (SANE) will complete the exam within which this collection is done. A SANE is a specially trained nurse in forensic evidence collection who evaluates health risks associated with sexual assault and provides appropriate treatment. This treatment may include emergency contraception and prophylactic treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. If forensic evidence collection takes place in a military hospital, it is known as a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Exam (SAFE).  A SAFE follows the same process as in a civilian hospital and is also completed by a SANE (Nelson, 2012).

In Minnesota, the county in which the sexual assault occurred is responsible for covering the costs of a forensic medical exam. The Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center (CMSAC) assists sexual assault victims in locating resources to help mitigate any additional costs that may be incurred in relation to the assault that are not covered by the county. This assistance can include help in applying for Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations (Nelson, 2012).

Source: Coping with Military Sexual Trauma: A Guide for Service Members