Billings Clinic's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) service provides a safe place for victims of sexual assault. A private room with a private bath and shower is located in the Emergency and Trauma Center. Our specially trained SANE nurses care for sexual assault victims with dignity, help them plan their next steps, and collect evidence for law enforcement.
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Specially Trained SANE Nurses Dedicated to the Patient
The sexual assault exam is always done by one of the SANE nurses who receive more than 80 hours of training. A SANE nurse is available 24/7.
Our focus is on providing confidential, expert forensic and medical care. All patients are treated in a non-judgmental way. We strive for each patient to leave the SANE exam with a feeling that they were heard. What happened to them does matter.
Adults, teens and children can come to Billings Clinic Emergency and Trauma Center for sexual assault services, with or without law enforcement. There is no charge to the patient for these services.
A SANE advocate from the YWCA is there entirely for your comfort and to assist you in any way they can.
Many times a victim feels they don’t want to be seen for an exam; they feel it’s the first time that their assailant has done this - it is rarely the first time.
One victim can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim. Sexual assault victims are receiving better care, law enforcement is getting better evidence and there are improved outcomes for victims of sexual assault.
What to Do if You are Assaulted...
- Get to a safe place.
- Do not shower, bathe, wash your hands, brush your teeth, or use a toilet.
- Don't change, wash, or destroy clothing. If you have a paper bag, please bring clothing with you in that bag. Plastic bags should not be used.
- Clothing is very useful for evidence collection.
- Please get medical attention as soon as possible. It is preferred that you get medical attention within five days - the sooner the better.
What to Expect from the SANE Program
Any wait, no matter how short or how long may be uncomfortable. You are the survivor of a sexual assault and you have the right to whatever medical treatment you need.
- The SANE room is a private room with an attached bath, located within the Emergency and Trauma Center for patient safety. Following the exam, if the patient wishes, they may shower and some clothing is available.
- The SANE nurse will assess and provide treatment options for any injuries. If the patient wishes to receive care, a physician will be available but is not required to get a SANE exam.
- The patient does not have to file a police report at the time of the examination.
- Information and evidence gathered can be stored in a secure area for up to a year if the patient does not wish to file charges or make decisions at the time of the examination.
- Evidence collection is part of the SANE process but is not the complete reason for the examination.
- The SANE nurse will help you take the first step towards regaining control of your life.
- The SANE nurse will provide sexually transmitted disease medication and/or pregnancy prophylaxis as needed with the approval of the patient.
- The SANE nurse will collect medical-forensic evidence for possible prosecution. It is vital that this evidence be collected as soon as possible. Evidence is destroyed when you begin to continue everyday activities (eating, drinking, urinating, bathing, etc.).
- The patient may stop the exam at any time for any portion of the exam.
Patients are often referred to the CARE Program after a visit to the SANE Program. Learn more about CARE Program.
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The SANE program at Billings Clinic was established in 2000. Nurses are specially trained to collect forensic evidence from as many as 150 victims a year.
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