S.A.F.E. Program

S.A.F.E. stands for Sexual Assault Forensic Exam.

What is a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam?
A Sexual Assault Forensic Exam is an examination performed by specially trained medical personnel (S.A.F.E. Nurse) for the collection of evidence used by District Attorney’s and law enforcement in sexual assault cases.

Components of the exam

  • Pelvic Exam
  • Rectal Exam
  • DNA
  • Photographs
  • Blood Samples
  • Urine Samples
  • Medication to prevent the onset of sexually acquired diseases
  • Medication to reduce the risk of HIV infection

Why a S.A.F.E Exam?

  • Any immediate health risks are assessed.
  • Any long-term damage as a result of the assault will be documented and your options for continual care will be discussed.
  • In the event you wish to report the crime to the police, evidence collected during the S.A.F.E Exam can be used against your attacker.
  • The importance of having a S.A.F.E exam is to ensure you are healthy, receive appropriate medications and receive medical care for any injuries sustained during the sexual assault.

Do I have to report the assault to law enforcement if I have an exam?

NO.

The evidence collected during the S.A.F.E exam is kept in a locked refrigerator for 30 days. If at any time during the 30 days, you wish to report the assault to police, evidence collected during the S.A.F.E exam can be used during the investigation to further support your case against the attacker. The release of any evidence collected during the S.A.F.E exam is up to you. You do not have to release the evidence just because you decided to report the assault to law enforcement. After 30 days, the evidence is discarded.

Will I have to pay for the Exam?

NO.

The forensic repayment act takes care of all costs associated with the exam including necessary medications and HIV preventives for 3 days.

Are all parts of the exam mandatory?

NO.

If at any time you are uncomfortable during any part of the exam, you can decline to continue with that part of the exam or end the exam process completely.

How will I know the results of the S.A.F.E exam?

The S.A.F.E examiner will contact you and set up a time to discuss the results of the exam.

How long after an assault am I able to have a S.A.F.E exam?

A SAFE exam can be performed for up to 96 hours after a sexual assault. After the initial 96 hours, the evidence that the SAFE exam seeks to collect is no longer present, so there is no need to involve a SAFE nurse. It is important to remember that the Emergency Department is available to address any medical concerns after an assault, regardless of whether a rape kit is completed.

The only S.A.F.E program in Seneca, Ontario, and Yates counties is at F.F. Thompson Memorial Hospital in Canandaigua. However, evidence collected as part of any exam applies to the same rules as stated above. You have the right to have someone with you during the exam.

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