The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) offer comprehensive care to the survivors of sexual assault in the emergency room. These highly skilled nurses educate survivors on their rights and the benefits of receiving an exam and treatment.

SANE Services

  • Skillful nursing examination and care to survivors of sexual assault at designated hospital emergency rooms
  • Specialized sexual assault evidence collection kits for survivors of sexual assault
  • Appropriate referrals for survivors of sexual assault who seek treatment
  • Collaborative community-based response system for survivors of sexual assault through multi-disciplinary training and a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)
  • Assistance in reporting sexual assault crimes to law enforcement agencies based on the survivor’s intent to prosecute
  • Standardize data on the rate of sexual assault survivors who seek treatment in Lafayette hospital emergency rooms

If you have recently been a victim of sexual assault, please do not bathe, eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth or wipe after urination. Seek emergency medical treatment as soon as possible. The emergency room staff will notify the SANE on-call if you are at one of our designated hospitals.


Adults are not required to report to law enforcement in order to obtain a forensic exam and receive treatment.

What to do BEFORE you go to the Hospital/ER:

Try to avoid the following  activities as they  could potentially damage evidence:

  • Bathing
  • Showering
  • Using the restroom
  • Changing clothes
  • Combing hair
  • Cleaning up the area

You can still have an exam performed if you have done any of these activities

Bring extra clothes. Clothing may be collected as evidence with your kit.  Hearts of Hope does provide a change of clothing so for your comfort, bring extra clothes to change into.

What to do when you ARRIVE at the Hospital/ER

Let the ED/ ER know you were assaulted and would like to have a personal evidence recovery kit (PERK).

ED/ ER will obtain consent to contact Hearts of Hope for services.

Sexual assault survivors have a right to have an advocate present during the exam.

DID YOU KNOW?

For patients 11 and younger: evidence can be collected up to 72 hours after an assault
For patients ages 12+: evidence can be collected up to 96 hours after an assault

Estimate time it takes to conduct a forensic medical examination is between 2-4 hours

A kit can be completed even if the offender is unknown.

Victims/Survivors 18+ may report to law enforcement anonymously. Evidence can still be collected if a patient is unsure of reporting. Law Enforcement will hold kit for up to 1 year.

When you have a PERK conducted, YOU HAVE OPTIONS

  1. Report, Press Charges, Conduct Kit.-File a report with police, and press charges. Their rape kit will be stored and sent to the crime lab for analysis.
  2. Report, Conduct Kit…Press Charges later.- File a report with the police, and they have no time limit to decide if they want to press charges. Their rape kit will be stored at the police station for 1 year and disposed of if they do not press charges within that year.
  3. Conduct Kit…Report & Press Charges later.-Do not file a report with police and refuse to press charges. Their rape kit will be stored at the police station for 1 year and disposed of if they do not press charges within that year.

Sexual assault survivors have a right
to have an advocate present during the exam

Sexual assault survivors have a right to have an advocate present during the exam

What does the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner do?

  • Collect a history of the assault
  • Provide a nursing assessment
  • Conduct evidence collection
  • Photograph injuries / Documentation
  • Maintain Chain of Custody
  • Collaborate with MD (meds & labs)
  • Work closely with law enforcement
  • Provide education and instructions for follow-up

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners DO NOT DETERMINE if a sexual assault has occurred.

Nurse Examiners are on your side. Benefits of SANE in the ER:

  • Proper forensic evidence collection and training
  • Provide treatment that is sensitive to psychological trauma experienced by survivors
  • Document forensic collection
  • Interface with LE and SARC
  • Can provide fact vs. expert witness testimony
  • Are unbiased
  • There is a medical exception to hearsay
  • Documentation of findings
  • Information, treatment and/or referrals for sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, and other related medical concerns

How to become a SANE

Training: 40 hours didactic coursework, 16 hours skills lab, 3 precepted exams, attendance at SART meeting, tour of crime lab, and courtroom observation

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