If you do wish to seek medical assistance for a SANE exam, you can go directly to the hospital. You should not shower, change clothes, eat or drink anything before you go. While we understand it is difficult to refrain from doing these things, the purpose is to ensure all potential evidence from any clothing or bodily fluids will be collected for evidence. Also be aware that the hospital will collect the clothing you are wearing, and it will be sent off for evidence.
The hospital will likely ask if you would like to have a SANE exam done. A SANE Exam is an exam that is used by medical examiners to collect evidence in your allegation. Victims are encouraged to have one done as it will provide evidence should the victim decide to press charges within the next 10 years. The person who performs the exam is specially trained in collecting evidence of sexual assault, and is called a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.).
The hospital will offer you a very potent antibiotic that will help fend off most STD’s. However, this does not work on HIV or AIDS. The hospital will also offer female survivors the morning after pill. We understand the morning after pill has been a subject of controversy, and it is up to you whether or not you take it.
The SANE Nurse will encourage you to follow up appointment with your family physician to make sure that everything is still going well after a couple of weeks. It is important to attend this follow up visit because if you have questions, you will be able to have them answered.
At any point, you have the right to ask for an advocate to be there with you for support.
First Step has staff that is ready to be supportive and encouraging. It is very difficult to go through this type of trauma. Know that you are not alone and First Step advocates will be there to help with any of your needs regarding the situation. If you are more comfortable with other community entities, First Step works closely with the universities and other agencies to ensure services are survivor-centered and consistent. Some other counseling and support resources are listed below:
– If you’re a student at:
– Midwestern State University: You can contact the Counseling Center.
– Vernon College: You can contact the Vernon College Counseling Department.
If you’re a survivor, please know you’re not alone. 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. First Step holds support group meetings every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30pm (except on holidays). If you would like to explore healing through support group meetings, please contact our administrative office.
Safety can often be a long-term concern for anyone who has experienced sexual assault. Safety planning is brainstorming ways to make yourself feel safe, and help prepare you for what to do in a future crisis. For examples of how and when to create a safety plan, click here.