SANE Program


What a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner pose is.

A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a qualification for forensic nurses who have received special training to conduct sexual assault evidentiary exams for sexual assault victims. There are two different credentials available under the SANE designation: SANE-A for adult and adolescent examiners, and SANE-P, which is specifically for pediatric victims.

Not all, but many SANE programs are coordinated by sexual assault crisis centers rather than hospitals. Some programs are employed by law enforcement and conduct their exams at stand alone sites, not in an ER. SANEs are on call 24-hours a day and may arrive at the hospital emergency room within an hour of a sexual assault victim’s arrival. Some programs will wait until the patient has had a medical screening exam (MSE) and then have law enforcement bring a stable patient to the sexual assault response team (SART) site for their exam.

If the patient is in critical condition and admitted to the hospital, the SANE can perform a ‘mobile exam’ and bring their exam supplies and camera to the hospital.

In addition to the collection of forensic evidence, they also provide access to crisis intervention counseling, STI testing, drug testing if drug-facilitated rape is suspected, and emergency contraception. A SANE will also supply medical referrals for additional medical care or possible follow ups to document how they are healing.

 

What is a Sexual Assault Kit?

A sexual assault kit (SAK), a sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) kit, a sexual assault evidence collection kit (SAECK), a sexual offense evidence collection (SOEC) kit, or a physical evidence recovery kit (PERK) is a package of items used by medical personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence following an allegation of sexual assault. The evidence collected from the victim can aid the criminal investigation and the prosecution of a suspected assailant.

Louis R. Vitullo developed the first kit in the late 1970s in order to provide a more uniform protocol for evidence collection after sexual assaults. For years, the standardized tool was referred to as a Vitullo kit.  Today it is colloquially referred to as a sexual assault test kit or a sexual assault kit, which is used interchangeably to refer to the specific evidence that is obtained through the use of the sexual assault kit.