Forensic Nurse Examiner Program
Caring for Victims of Sexual Assault —
Your Health and Safety is Our Main Concern
If you are the victim of an assault, it is important to get medical treatment and support as soon as possible. Abington Memorial Hospital’s highly skilled forensic nurse examiners are registered nurses with specialized training who will care for you and offer support, while expertly documenting evidence of your injuries. Forensic nurse examiners who care for victims of sexual assault are called sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE).
The Forensic Exam
Your SANE will complete a comprehensive medical forensic exam to ensure your well-being and to gather evidence.
During the Exam, Your Nurse Will:
- Document any injuries from the assault.
- Collect evidence.
- Evaluate pregnancy risk for women and discuss safe prevention options.
- Evaluate your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection and offer medication to reduce that risk.
- If you have other injuries, the Emergency Medicine staff will evaluate and treat you in a separate examination.
What is Sexual Assault?
No one has the right to touch, force, threaten, or have sexual contact with you without your consent. Sexual assault is any form of unwanted sexual contact as a result of force, threats, coercion or lack of consent. It can occur between relatives, partners, acquaintances and strangers. Victims can be from any social class, age, gender or sexual orientation. Those who have been victimized through trafficking or prostitution may also be victims of sexual assault.
Everyone reacts differently to the trauma of sexual assault, and it’s normal to experience a range of emotions. You may feel hopeless, lonely, shocked, angry, fearful, depressed, anxious, embarrassed or ashamed. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, anytime, in any place. It is important to understand that you could not control what happened, no matter the circumstances.
Do the Police Need to be Contacted?
The decision is yours, and you do not have to decide right away whether you want to report the assault to law enforcement. You can discuss options with your SANE, victim advocate, friends or family. If the assault is reported to police, the SANE will turn the collected evidence over to the proper police jurisdiction.
Who Pays for the Exam?
There is no cost to you for the forensic exam. Treatment for injuries requiring medical attention will be billed to your insurance.
You are Not Alone
The Emergency Trauma Center at Abington Memorial Hospital is a safe place, and our sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) will care for you, tell you what to expect, answer questions and guide you through healing and recovery with resources for counseling and follow-up care.
Call 215-481-8079 for information.