Emergency Care for Sexual Assault Victims
Since 1998, specially trained nurses in The UVM Medical Center's Emergency Department have been providing experienced, compassionate care for adults and children who may have been sexually assaulted.
These health care professionals, known as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (or S.A.N.E. nurses), are registered nurses with advanced education in the medical forensic examination of sexual assault victims. S.A.N.E. nurses at The UVM Medical Center offer high-quality, compassionate and coordinated care to adults and children available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
S.A.N.E. nurses work closely with other members of an extended team that includes:
- law enforcement
- forensic scientists
- crime victims service providers
Pediatric S.A.N.E. nurses are specially trained to provide care for children They work closely with the pediatric team at The UVM Children's Hospital to evaluate children after physical and sexual assault .
The S.A.N.E. Program: What We Do
- Compassionate, confidential care throughout the examination process
- Timely medical assessment and forensic examination
- Treatment and counseling for concerns about pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV
- Careful collection of evidence
- Appropriate referral for follow-up care
- Peer review, education and research
- Professional and knowledgeable testimony in court
- Outreach education at area colleges, as well as for advocates and other health care professionals
The Importance of a S.A.N.E Exam
The S.A.N.E. medical forensic examination consists of three parts:
- An interview - discussion of patient options for care and evidence collection: gathering of a history of the assault to identify potential injury and possible location of evidence
- A physical exam - medical examination to indentify injury and collect evidence
- Follow-up and treatment - discussion of follow-up treatment and resources, including treatment for sexually transmitted infections and counseling
To reach a S.A.N.E. nurse at UVM Medical Center call 802-847-2434.
Sexual Violence Hotlines:
Working with the police:
Working with Medical Services:
Working with an Advocate:
"We are grateful to have the S.A.N.E. team at The UVM Medical Center. It is reassuring to know that these specialized nurses are there for victim support after the most traumatic experience they encounter. S.A.N.E. nurses work hard to persevere the dignity of the patient while collecting crucial forensic evidence that will assist law enforcement with the case. They are to be commended for the care thy give both in and out of the exam room." - Kristine Bickford, Executive Director, Children's Advocacy Center at Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations
"The UVM Medical Center's S.A.N.E. nurses have continually provided a high standard of trauma -informed, compassionate care to survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. Throughout the years, we have witnessed firsthand their commitment to meeting the needs of survivors and empowering them to take positive steps towards their physical and emotional healing." - Cathleen H. Wilson, M.A., HOPE Works Executive Director