UofL Health recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month
As part of our goal to improve access to care for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, UofL Health now has sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) in all our seven emergency department locations:
- UofL Health – Jewish Hospital
- UofL Health – Mary and Elizabeth Hospital
- UofL Health – Medical Center East
- UofL Health – Medical Center South
- UofL Health – Medical Center Southwest
- UofL Health – Shelbyville Hospital
- UofL Health – UofL Hospital
The role of a SANE team member is to evaluate the medical needs of the victim, collect physical evidence related to the assault, and connect the victim to community resources. When working with a SANE, victims and SANE team members will discuss:
- Medical/forensic exam options
- Law enforcement reporting options
- Medications to treat possible infections
If the victim chooses to have an exam, they will be educated on the process, and the SANE will work with the victim to document injury, collect potential evidence and provide needed medications. The entire exam may take a few hours to complete, but victims will be assured that they have control over the process and steps in the exam. Once completed, the swabs collected can be handed over to police for DNA testing and evaluation, with the patients consent. Victims can also elect to have the evidence held confidentially for up to a year to provide them time to decide if they would like to report the assault to police.
UofL Health also collaborates with other community hospitals and the Center for Women and Families to ensure round-the-clock SANE availability at emergency departments in the region. It is our hope that providing immediate, time-sensitive care throughout the community can ease the initial uncertainty victims face after an assault.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can seek medical care as soon as you are ready. Evidence collection can be time-sensitive, and medical/forensic exams should be done as soon as possible.
If you or someone you know needs to access sexual assault victim services, such as support, information or referrals, please contact the Center for Women and Families 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 502-581-7222. If you are in need of a medical/forensic exam, you may also access SANE care at all UofL Health emergency department locations.