SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) Program
The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program is a service provided to anyone 16 years and over who have been sexually assaulted. The best time to access this service is within 96 hours of the incident by a trained nurse examiner who is available 24 hours a day at St. Clare’s Hospital.
What will happen when I get there?
When you check in to Emergency at St. Clare’s Hospital and state that you have been sexually assaulted or wish to see the SANE nurse, an emergency nurse will ask you a few questions about your health, and they will then contact the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. You will then be taken to a safe private room where you can wait for the SANE nurse to arrive (usually 10-30 minutes). Once the SANE nurse arrives, they will offer you choices about your care which include:
- Check for injuries
- Medications for STI’s and pregnancy
- Collection of forensic evidence
You will decide what you would like them to do and they will respect your decisions.
What happens during the exam?
- The nurse will ask questions about what happened
- A physical and pelvic examination will be done to look for injuries that may have occurred during the assault
- A special light will be used to look for evidence which may be collected with your permission
- Swabs, urine specimens, and a blood sample will be collected if necessary
- You will be given medication to prevent STI’s and pregnancy
- You will be given information about what to expect after the assault
- You will be given recommendations for follow up treatment
- The nurse will provide resources for counselling services
What about the police?
It is your choice whether or not to report the sexual assault. We will support whatever decision you make. If you choose to report, forensic evidence will be collected with your permission. This may include:
- Collecting your clothing for evidence
- A head to toe exam looking for bruises, cuts, scratches, blood stains, seminal stains, etc.
- Taking swabs from different areas of the body for possible evidence
- Police will be notified and the evidence will be given to them.
If you choose not to report or go undecided:
- The forensic exam can still be done
- Evidence can be stored for up to one year (365 days)
- If you decide to report within that time the evidence can then be given to the police with your permission
- If you decide not to report, the evidence will be destroyed when the year is up
What is the NLSACPC’s role at the hospital?
We are available 24/7 as support people to accompany you to the SANE program. Our role is to support you, and to ensure that your needs are met. You can either go to the hospital and the nurse will offer to call us, or you can request a support person to meet you at the hospital by calling our 24/7 crisis support and information line at 1-800-726-2743.
This whole procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours. You can stop and/or take a break at any time.
If you decide to make a statement to the RNC, we are able to accompany you. You can arrange the accompaniment by calling the Centre at 709-747-7757, Monday to Friday at 8:30am-3:30pm (except holidays).
RNC hours are Monday-Friday 8:00am-8:00pm and Saturday 8:00am-6:00pm.