SAIC’s preferred hospitals for responding to sexual assault in Denver are Denver Health Medical Center, St. Anthony North Hospital and St. Anthony Central Hospital. These hospitals have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), nurses who are specially educated and trained to provide forensic health care to survivors of sexual assault including the forensic examination and collection of forensic evidence.
Support is available through clinical social work staff, police victim advocates and rape crisis center advocates to provide crisis counseling, support and referrals. Hospital staff will notify law enforcement and you will have the option of speaking to a police officer. While it is encouraged that you cooperate with the police, it is not required to have a forensic examination.
A physical examination will be done to assess general health and to treat any physical injuries. Medical personnel may also provide information and treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections and possible pregnancy.
The SANE may also conduct a forensic examination to collect evidence with your permission. Even if you are unsure of whether or not you want to report the crime to the police, you still have the option of having the exam in case you decide later that you would like to pursue a criminal case.
The forensic exam can consist of a history of the assault, collection of clothing, collection of patient standards, collection of possible suspect DNA, collection of trace evidence, and photography. You are entitled to stop the examination at any time and/or refuse any part of the exam that you do not want to do.
You will not be charged for the forensic exam, even if you don’t want to report the crime. However, there may be other costs that are incurred during the hospital visit like an emergency room fee, injury treatment and/or medication. If you report the crime to the police you are eligible to have these costs covered through crime victim compensation. Other agencies also have emergency funding available for victims regardless if you report the crime to police or not.
Other SANE programs in Colorado:
The Medical Center of Aurora, Aurora
Memorial Health System, Colorado Springs
Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo
Mercy Regional Medical Center, Durango
Poudre Valley Health Systems, Fort Collins
San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center, Alamosa
Mesa County SART, Grand Junction
Valley View Hospital, Glenwood Springs