More questions? Give us a call at our office (970-259-3074) or on our hotline (970-247-5400) to speak with an advocate.
If you choose to get medical attention for the assault, we can offer support in person by accompanying you to the emergency room for a healthcare exam. You may also choose to have forensic evidence collected by a SANE (sexual assault nurse examiner), and can have a SASO advocate with you to answer any questions you may have. You can have this done even if you are choosing not to report the assault to law enforcement at this time.
What is a SANE/FNE Exam?
*Information retrieved from Do I need Medical Care? | Reporting a Sex Assault in Colorado | You Have the Right CO
A sexual assault nurse examination or forensic nurse examination is conducted by a nurse with specialized training to collect possible evidence and ensure your physical safety. It is also sometimes known as a "rape kit." These nurses are trained to understand the effects of trauma and best practices to support a survivor. They can confidentially discuss what happened and go through your options with you.
The exam can take several hours, and your nurse will move at a pace that is comfortable for you. You have the right to refuse any part of the exam.
When should I get an exam?
A medical forensic exam (MFE) is best performed within 7 days of the assault in order to collect evidence. If possible, we recommend waiting to shower and brush your teeth until after the exam. If you already have, it is okay. If you have any clothing items you were wearing at the time of the incident, we recommend bringing them in a paper or canvas bag (avoid plastic). If the incident was more than 7 days ago, we still recommend seeking medical attention from a trained practitioner to ensure your physical safety and understand your options.
Do I have to report to Law Enforcement?
In short, no. The SANE/FNE nurse can explain the three reporting options individuals between the ages of 18-69 have in Colorado. You can still get medical help and receive the exam without speaking to law enforcement or having your name labeled on evidence. Learn more about your reporting options here.
Do I have to pay for the exam?
The cost of a MFE is typically covered by law enforcement or the state fund Sexual Assault Victim Emergency Payment Program (SAVE fund). This fund will cover evidence collection costs and most associated medical fees, though insurance can also be billed for non-evidence collection related costs prior to the SAVE fund.
If you do not have evidence collected and choose not to report to police, then your insurance provider will likely be billed if you have it.
What is SASO's role in the medical process?
Once you show up the emergency room for an exam, the hospital will automatically call a SASO advocate. It can be a very overwhelming process coming to the hospital for a medical forensic exam. A SASO advocate can be there to sit with you throughout the process, confidentially discuss options and answer questions, and provide information for follow up, should you choose it. We support you as much as you want us to.