Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program, coordinated through PAVSA, is a community-based medical and forensic response to victims of sexual assault and a collaborative project of PAVSA, St. Luke’s Hospital and Essentia Health. SANEs are registered nurses and nurse practitioners that understand the dynamics of sexual assault and are specially trained in collection of forensic evidence, medical/legal interviewing and documentation, and expert witness testimony. They provide comprehensive and compassionate forensic medical exams for sexual assault victims. These exams are essential to the successful investigation and prosecution of sexual assault in our community.

SANEs work as a team with sexual assault advocates to ensure that victims are treated in a sensitive, caring and professional manner. Advocates are available to provide support throughout the exam, answer questions about what happens next, and provide resources and options to victims as well as their friends and family. Victims are given options regarding evidence collection, medication, reporting and more.

Federal legislation mandates that regardless of whether or not a victim chooses to make a report to law enforcement, he/she has a right to seek a forensic medical examination following a sexual assault free of charge. In Minnesota, the county that the sexual assault occurred in is responsible for covering these costs. This does not cover the cost of treatment; however PAVSA is available to assist in applying for victim’s repartions.

If you have questions or concerns about what will be covered and what might be billed for, call the PAVSA crisis line for more information – 218-726-1931.

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