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Sexual Assault Care

Altru Health System provides sensitive health care and treatment to victims of sexual assault and rape. A sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) is available 24 hours a day.

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped, you have experienced a serious personal trauma. Whatever the circumstances, you did not deserve it. It is not your fault. You do not have to cope alone. We are here to support you.

Although every sexual assault victim has the right to report the crime, not all choose to do so. Regardless of whether it’s reported to law enforcement, all victims have the right to crisis intervention, counseling, support groups, medical care and legal services.

If you have been the victim of sexual assault, call 911 or visit Altru’s Emergency Room immediately to receive medical care.

Who Is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner?

A sexual assault nurse examiner is a registered nurse with special education and training surrounding the care of people who have experienced sexual and family violence. The nurse offers information and support needed to make personal choices about health care following rape, sexual assault or family violence.

What Should I Do if I Am Sexually Assaulted?

Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away. Do not destroy the evidence of a sexual assault:

  • Do not wash yourself, brush your teeth or rinse your mouth
  • Do not wash any wounds
  • Do not eat, drink or go to the bathroom
  • Do not change clothes

What to Expect

A sexual assault nurse examiner can evaluate a victim whose assault has occurred within the previous 96 hours (four days).

During a sexual assault exam, the nurse will:

  • Identify and care for injuries
  • Collect physical evidence
  • Collect photos of injuries, if needed
  • Assess risk of sexually transmitted diseases and give preventative treatment
  • Assess risk of pregnancy and present emergency prevention options
  • Give crisis information and referral to support services
  • Provide referrals for appropriate medical follow-up

Throughout the process, you will be told exactly what will be done and why. All of your information will be kept private. During your exam, you can ask questions or refuse any part of the process. You can ask to have someone with you, including a friend, family member or other medical advocate.

Community Education

Violence is a major public health problem. Understanding it is the first step toward intervention.

Altru’s sexual assault nurse examiners are available to visit schools and community groups to educate students and adults about:

  • Sexual health
  • Health issues related to sexual violence
  • Drug-facilitated sexual assault

For more information on education options, contact Altru’s Emergency Medical Services at 701.780.1820.

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