Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE)
About the SANE Program
Sexual assault happens in every community in the United States and affects people of any gender, age or race.
Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s emergency departments provide comprehensive care for victims of sexual assault. Specially trained medical professionals are dedicated exclusively to the medical treatment and emotional support of sexual assault victims.
Sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) are registered nurses who have completed specialized forensic training in the care and treatment of:
- Sexual assault
- Sex trafficking
Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNEs) are SANEs with additional training in interpersonal violence. They provide treatment and forensic evaluation for:
- Domestic and dating violence
- Vulnerable adult maltreatment
- Child abuse and neglect
SANEs and FNEs work with both adult and pediatric patients; the children they work with include victims of sexual assault, child abuse and other forms of violence.
If you are a victim of sexual assault
There are several steps you should take:
- Please seek medical attention as soon as possible.
- Get to a safe place and call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. At any Spartanburg Regional emergency department, a Forensic Nurse Examiner will meet you.
- DO NOT shower, bathe or change your clothing.
- DO NOT eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth or use the bathroom, if possible.
- DO NOT clean your home or the area where the assault occurred.
- DO NOT avoid seeking medical care because of cost. All patients are seen regardless of their ability to pay. Sexual assault examinations are paid for by the Department of Crime Victim Compensation.
Even if several days have passed since you were assaulted, it is still important to get evaluated. Evidence can be collected for up to 96 hours (four days) after the assault, even if you have bathed.
What will happen at the hospital?
Spartanburg Regional offers around-the-clock comprehensive care and treatment to victims of sexual assault, dating violence and sex trafficking. This care is provided by a Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE).
- You will be treated with dignity and respect, and your care will be administered with compassion and sensitivity.
- You will be taken to a private room where an FNE will conduct a thorough medical forensic examination.
- You will be provided with information concerning options for your care so that you can make informed decisions about the services you want to receive. Depending on your circumstances, these may include photographic documentation of injuries, STI and pregnancy prevention medications and evidence collection.
- You will receive information about local resources and counseling to help you recover.
- You will have access to shower facilities, toiletries and a change of clothing.
- Exam costs for sexual assault victims are covered by special crime victim funds, and no insurance claims will be filed.
- For victims aged 18 and up, police involvement is not mandatory.
Law enforcement options
- If an adult patient chooses to report the crime to law enforcement, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will notify them on the patient's behalf.
- If the adult patient chooses not to report the assault to law enforcement, evidence may still be collected. The patient then has one year to decide if they would like an investigation. These kits are not processed until the patient decides to file a report.
- When a victim is younger than 18, the SANE must contact law enforcement. They will also involve the Children's Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Cherokee & Union. This nonprofit organization provides support and services to children who have been sexually and/or physically abused.
Let Us Help You
At Spartanburg Regional emergency departments in Greer, Spartanburg, Union and Gaffney, our SANE team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide care and support for victims of sexual assault, sex trafficking or domestic abuse.
Campus Forensic Nurse Liaison
Sexual assault and dating violence are serious problems on college campuses that often go unreported. More than 1 in 4 undergraduate female students and 1 in 15 male students experience sexual assault while in college, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
The Spartanburg Regional Foundation received a federal grant to increase access to forensic medical care for students in Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties.
The program educates college faculty and students about these issues, assists with prevention protocols and informs about the services that are available for sexual assault and dating violence victims at all Spartanburg Regional emergency departments.
This program is facilitated by the Spartanburg Regional campus forensic nurse liaison who is a specially trained forensic nurse examiner.
News & Highlights
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is ANY sexual activity that one does not consent to, or is incapable of taking part in.
What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?
- If you are in immediate danger, get to a safe place and call 911.
- Know that sexual assault is never your fault, no matter the circumstances.
- Consider seeking immediate medical attention.
Read our three-part Discover Health series that looks at what happens in the aftermath of sexual assault and sex trafficking. In it, we talk with a sexual assault victim; her name has been changed to protect her identity.
In the aftermath of rape or sexual assault, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners can give a voice to the victims.