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Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital developed the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program to provide care and assistance for anyone who has been sexually assaulted.

blonde female nurse speaking to a brunette female patient sitting on edge of hospital bed

The nurses help men and women of all ages. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Sexual assault nurse examiners are registered nurses who are specially trained to collect medical evidence and perform the necessary examination in a sensitive, non-threatening manner. They also provide information that will allow you to review all of your options as you deal with your many concerns—including treatment of possible disease and/or pregnancy—following sexual assault.

In addition, the nurses will help you develop a medical follow-up plan. Once your medical tests have been evaluated, they will call you with the results. Of course, all examinations, tests and communication with the nurses will be conducted in complete confidence. We respect your need for privacy at all times.

Expert witnesses

If your case goes to court, your nurse examiner will testify as an expert witness

Working with other agencies

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program maintains an ongoing working relationship with other organizations that can help you. We work closely with human services agencies, law enforcement agencies, the Sexual Assault Center and the district attorney's office. The sexual assault nurse examiners also will make sure a sexual assault advocate is available to help you.

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any sexual contact that is forced or is against a person's wishes. It includes rape, incest, sexual harassment, child sexual assault, marital rape, and exposure. Sexual assault is a crime of violence. The attacker's weapons are power and control.

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, of any age or gender.

  • One in three women is assaulted before the age of 18
  • One in four women report they were sexually assaulted during their college years
  • One in six men report they are sexually assaulted before the age of 18
  • Eighty percent of survivors are assaulted by someone they know or recognize. Sexual assault often happens in a trusting relationship

The stress a person feels after a sexual assault may be short-term, long-term or both. In any case, HSHS St. Vincent Hospital's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners are trained to help. 

What to do if you are sexually assaulted

Survive: Fight back only if you think you have a good chance to escape. Don't fight if it could bring you further harm. Follow your instincts and remember: The important thing is to survive.

Safe place: As soon as possible, find a safe place and go there.

Get help: Find a person who can help you. If you need support and assistance, call the Sexual Assault Center at 920-436-8899.

Consider having a medical examination: A medical exam is important for your health and the sexual assault nurse examiners at HSHS St. Vincent Hospital's Regional Emergency Center are specially trained to collect medical and legal evidence.