SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner)
If you are a victim of sexual assault, do not change your clothes or shower before coming to the Emergency Department. Nurses will need to collect and preserve any evidence of sexual assault. Changing clothes or showering may destroy this evidence.
Call the Doylestown Hospital Emergency Services Department at 215.345.2280 or 9-1-1
Sexual assault and personal violence are true medical emergencies. Victims of sexual assault or violence should seek immediate medical care.
Anyone who is a victim of sexual assault or personal violence should go to the Emergency Department immediately. Or, if that is not not possible, call 215.345.2280 or 9-1-1 for help.
No sexual assault or victim of violence should be embarrassed or fearful about going to the Emergency Room for help. There is tremendous, sympathetic support from all the Doylestown Health Emergency Services staff, including nurses, physicians, social workers, and hospital administration. They also work with the District Attorney's office and local police departments.
Emergency services, the police and the District Attorney's office are familiar with the SAFE program of Doylestown Hospital.
What will Happen at the Hospital?
At Doylestown Hospital, the sexual assault victim will receive immediate assistance through the SAFE program. SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner) consisting of a team of registered nurses with extensive experience and specialized training in the medical and legal aspects of treating victims of sexual assault or other types of violence. They will provide the victim with a safe, responsive, healing environment to give immediate assistance.
The SAFE nurse understands the special emotional and physical needs of the sexual assault or personal violence victim. This nurse's individual help and attention will aid in beginning to restore the personal dignity that has been taken away through the terrible violation of sexual assault or other types of abuse.
Once at the Emergency Department, the victim will be taken into a private, comfortable and safe area. A specially trained SAFE nurse will be called immediately to take care of the physical examination, and a representative from the Network of Victim Assistance will be called also.
The nurse will explain the examination in detail. Before leaving the hospital, the nurse will give the victim medication to prevent disease, and will provide information about local, social and governmental agencies that can offer additional support.
There is no cost to the victim for the forensic exam, and the entire process is completely confidential.
What Happens Next?
The nurse who sees the victim in the Emergency Services department will give them detailed instructions about follow-up. She will make sure that the person has referral agency numbers and will be able to contact someone for extra support. She will also answer any questions or concerns that the victim or their family may have.
Contact Emergency Services
If you have questions about the SAFE program at Doylestown Health's Emergency Department, call 215.345.2280.
If you are a victim of sexual assault or personal violence and need medical attention or assistance, call 9-1-1 for help.