For Medical Providers
Not every sexual assault survivor sustains physical injury, such as cuts and bruises. In fact, it is really common for survivors not to have any visible injury. However, the absence of a physical injury does not mean a patient wasn’t a victim of a sexual assault. It also doesn’t mean they shouldn’t seek medical care.
Some survivors will want to seek medical care for peace of mind, and many will do so not knowing their options for reporting or their options for payment of medical care.
There are specialized programs in the State of Colorado called Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) or Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) programs. These programs employ forensic nurses who receive specialized and extensive training in trauma, working with sexual assault survivors, the requirements of evidence collection, and how to provide expert testimony. We strongly encourage you to refer patients to a SANE or FNE program if they seek medical care at a facility that does not have such a program.
For Mental Health Providers
Mental health professionals provide critical care and support to survivors of sexual violence through all stages of their healing journey. The information provided here is designed to guide you should one of your clients disclose they have experienced a sexual assault.
As a mental health professional, it is crucial you have the correct information about a survivor’s rights under state and federal law as well as up to date information on the sexual assault specific services and resources available to them. Please visit our resource map to locate the nearest sexual assault nurse examiner/forensic nurse examiner program and/or rape crisis victim advocacy resource.