You may hear from people in your life, research, etc. that you need to get a “rape kit” or “SANE” (Sexual Assault Nurse Exam). The decision is up to you, however, when getting examined by a medical professional (especially within a week of your assault—the sooner the better) they are able to collect forensic evidence for your case should you decide to report. If you decide not to report, you may still get the exam in order to address other health concerns or injuries you have following your assault.
Click through the questions below for more information.
What is a SANE exam/rape kit?
A SANE exam or a "rape kit" is a medical examination with a purpose of collecting any possible evidence following a sexual assault. The average exam takes from 2-4 hours and includes five main components:
- History (history of the assault as well as your own medical and sexual history)
- Assessment of injuries
- Forensic evidence collection
- STD evaluation and prevention
- Pregnancy risk evaluation and prevention
If you want more details about the process of the exam, please call our confidential 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline at 303-322-7273 (English) or Linea De Crisis at 303-329-0031 (Spanish).
Why would I consider getting a SANE exam/rape kit?
The decision to go to the hospital, as with the decision to report, is yours and yours alone. We understand that making this decision can be stressful and scary. Reasons to get a SANE exam include a higher likelihood of obtaining evidence should you choose to report as well as attention for any possible injuries, STDs and/or pregnancy. A SANE exam also offers the opportunity to report your assault in three ways:
- An anonymous report that will keep all personal information from law enforcement
- A medical-only report that would provide only your name to law enforcement
- A full police report
Please note that the first two options require no police follow-up unless you choose it.
To learn more about the three different ways you can report an assault, click HERE.
If you want to further discuss reasons to get a SANE exam or you'd like more details about the process of the exam, please call our confidential 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline at 303-322-7273 (English) or Linea De Crisis at 303-329-0031 (Spanish).
How long after my assault can I go to the hospital?
While you can go to the hospital at any point following a sexual assault, the sooner the better is recommended for the purposes of evidence collection--particularly within the first 72 hours after the assault. Even if you have not decided if you want to report the assault yet, you can still get a sexual assault nurse's exam (SANE) to keep on record in the event that you do report. Evidence is held for two years. A SANE will also be helpful in identifying other issues such as STIs and pregnancy.
Do I have to pay for a SANE exam/rape kit?
No. The exam is paid for by the police department and you will not be charged for any medical procedures during your forensic examination.
Do I have to go alone?
No. You can bring a friend or family member you are comfortable with, but they will most likely need to remain in the waiting room during the exam. If you do not have a friend or family member you'd like to bring, The Blue Bench can arrange for an advocate to meet you a the hospital. An advocate can help you in the following ways:
- Provide crisis intervention and emotional support
- Asses you needs and provide appropriate resources and referrals
- Help with safety planning and problem solving
- Assure that protocols are being followed
- Inform you about the availability of The Blue Bench's follow-up case management and counseling services
If you are interested in having a hospital advocate meet you at the hospital, please call our 24-hour Sexual Assault Hotline at 303-322-7273 (English) or Linea De Crisis at 303-329-0031 (Spanish) and one of our trained volunteers will connect you.