As part of a medical forensic exam, you may choose to report the incident and speak to the police, but you do not have to talk to the police or anyone else until you are ready. Your evidence can be collected and stored anonymously until you decide whether to report (up to 90 days).
A medical forensic exam is a comprehensive medical exam performed by a specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE), or Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) with advanced educational and clinical preparation. A Forensic Nurse Examiner program also provides personalized comprehensive care to patients who have experienced interpersonal violence, such as sexual assault and strangulation. A Forensic Nurse can conduct a medical forensic examination, which includes collecting evidence, offering resources, and providing expert testimony.
Victims of sexual assault need comprehensive care to address both their physical and emotional traumas. During a medical forensic examination the client receives a thorough head-to-toe examination. All physical injuries are documented and biological evidence is collected that can later be sent to the crime lab. The history of the assault is taken and documented by the examiner. Medical forensic exams take place in a quiet, confidential room without interruption. Patient care and comfort is the top priority. If it gets to be too much, the patient can stop the examination process at any time.
Northern Arizona Care and Services After Assault
North Country HealthCare is a federally-qualified community health center that houses Northern Arizona Care and Services After Assault (NACASA). NACASA is a safe place for victims of sexual and domestic violence age 13 and older to go for help and to explore their options after an assault.
NACASA serves Apache, Coconino and Navajo counties, Navajo and Hopi Nations, and Grand Canyon National Park in four sites within those counties. It is staffed by nurses and doctors who are specially trained in medical forensics for sexual assault.Those who live in Gila, Mohave and Yavapai counties can access services at their closest Family Advocacy Center, here.
Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault
The Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault is a non-profit organization that offers a full range of services to victims of sexual assault in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma counties and throughout Southern Arizona. They serve primary and secondary victims and survivors of recent and past sexual assault, and provide sexual assault education and awareness to the general community.
The mission of the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault is to reduce the trauma and incidence of sexual assault by providing treatment and promoting prevention of sexual abuse, incest, molestation and rape.
In the Metropolitan Phoenix Region, an advocate from EMPACT can contact the closest Family Advocacy Center to conduct a medical forensic exam, or you can contact the Scottsdale Family Advocacy Center directly. The rape crisis and domestic violence center serving the Metropolitan Phoenix Region provides free and confidential referrals; services for sexual assault victims; and safety planning for victims of intimate partner violence, survivors, and their family and friends. This service provider also offers emergency shelter services.