It is imperative that the victim of a sexual assault or a violent crime seek medical attention. Not only must the victim receive the necessary treatment to counteract the offense, but photos and forensic evidence must be collected for the purpose of prosecution.
Crime Victims' Center offers 24-hour emergency medical accompaniment to all three of the local hospitals in Fayette County and other medical facilities. The advocate is available to offer support to the victim and family during their crisis and better educate them as to the procedures taking place.
In most cases of sexual assault, the rape kit is performed by a doctor or SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) and given to a chain of command from the police to the forensic lab.
Most often, the police will be present at the hospital to question the victim and family concerning the attack and gather information needed for their investigation.
If immediate medical treatment and testing is not sought directly following an incident, the prosecuting attorney may request that a medical exam be performed at a later date. Again, the Crime Victims' Center advocate is available to accompany the victim and family if they so wish.
A SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) is a multidisciplinary team working to provide specialized services for victims of sexual assault.
The team includes at a minimum, a medical director, a sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE), a sexual assault counselor/advocate, a law enforcement representative and a district attorney. These team members work together to care for victims and to ultimately increase the prosecution rate of sexual assault offenders.
The sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE), also know as a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE), is specifically trained to collect evidence, provide compassionate care and testify in sexual assault cases. Once a mandated 40 hour course is completed, it takes approximately six months to complete additional clinical hours needed to become a SANE.
The SANE also takes care of prophylactic measures for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
When informed of a victim who needs an exam, the SANE arrives at the exam site as quickly as possible, joining law enforcement and a sexual assault counselor/advocate.
The SANE is part of the healthcare community. A medical director/physician is available to assist the SANE in the event that a medical emergency arises.
Most of our services are free and strictly confidential.
If you are interested, call us at 724-438-1470 or send us an email about our medical advocacy services in Fayette County, PA.