The Office of Victim Services
The Connecticut OVS Gail Burns-Smith Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) Program provides timely, compassionate, patient-centered sexual assault forensic examination services to victims of sexual assault, 13 years or older, who go to a participating hospital within five days (120 hours) of the assault.
A Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) is a nurse or doctor who has specialized training and education in evidence collection. They have specialized knowledge of legal issues such as chain of custody and courtroom testimony and are trained in sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and medications.
SAFEs work closely with sexual assault victim advocates, hospital staff, law enforcement, and criminal prosecutors to provide victims of sexual assault with comprehensive and compassionate services.
SAFE services can include:
- Comprehensive physical examination
- Collection of evidence
- Forensic digital photography
- Injury documentation
- Preventative medications
- Testing and prophylactic treatment for STIs/HIV and pregnancy
- Crisis counseling, advocacy, and case management
- Other community referrals