Stillwater Medical Center staffs ten SANE nurses who are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are registered nurses who have completed specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of the patient who has experienced sexual assault or abuse. A sexual assault nurse examiner can evaluate an adult or post pubescent adolescent (has had her first period) victim whose assault has occurred within the previous 120 hours (5 days).
What to expect when you arrive at SMC:
On arrival to the emergency department, a triage nurse will take your vital signs and immediately escort you (and a support person/s if you choose) to a private room to wait for your SANE nurse to arrive. A confidential sexual assault advocate will be contacted to support you through the exam and/or provide many resources for crisis intervention and counseling.
If you would like to have law enforcement contacted, staff can do so at this or any time. (You do not have to notify law enforcement or participate in prosecution to receive a SANE exam at no charge to you.) Patients 18 years of age and older, have the option of whether or not to report the assault. Regardless of whether they report the assault, all victims have the right to a medical forensic examination, crisis intervention, counseling, support groups and medical care.
Once your SANE nurse has arrived, she will conduct her exam which takes approximately 1-2 hours. This exam will include a written account of the assault, a physical exam including a genital/pelvic exam (much like a PAP smear at your gynecologist), and prophylactic treatment (antibiotics) for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). You will also be offered the morning after pill (Plan B) if you choose. You will not see an emergency physician unless you request to, or the SANE nurse finds injuries that are in need of medical treatment. While performing the exam, the SANE nurse will collect forensic evidence for law enforcement and prosecution should you chose to pursue charges.
How do I know if I've been sexually assaulted?
Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity involving a person who does not or cannot (due to alcohol, drugs, or some sort of incapacitation) consent.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, "sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention." Sexual assault can describe many things, including:
- rape, including partner and marital rape
- unwanted sexual contact (touching or grabbing)
- unwelcome exposure of another's body, exhibitionism, or voyeurism
- child sexual abuse
- incest or molestation
- sexual harassment
- sexual exploitation of clients by therapists, doctors, dentists, or other professionals
What to do if you have been sexually assaulted
1. Go to a Safe Place
- After experiencing a traumatic event such as sexual assault, it is important to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm
2. Call for Assistance
3. Seek Medical Attention
- To check for injuries; you may have injuries that you can't see or feel
- To prevent sexually transmitted infections
- To prevent pregnancy
- To collect evidence (For adults evidence collection does not require you to place a report with the police or press charges; it preserves these options for the future.)
4. Preserve Evidence
For the purposes of evidence collection, we suggest that you avoid:
- brushing your teeth
- combing your hair
- changing your clothes
If you have done any of these things, evidence can still be collected and it is still important to seek medical attention.
If you have changed your clothes, take the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault to the hospital in a paper bag (not a plastic bag).
How do I know if I've been drugged?
It is often hard to tell. Most victims don't remember being drugged or assaulted. The victim might not be aware of the attack until 8 or 12 hours after it occurred. These drugs also leave the body very quickly. But there are some signs that you might have been drugged:
- You remember having a drink, but cannot recall anything after that.
- You feel drunk and haven't drunk any alcohol - or, you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual.
- You wake up feeling very hung over and disoriented or having no memory of a period of time.
- You find that your clothes are not on right or torn.
- You feel like you had sex, but you cannot remember it.
How can I help someone who has been sexually assaulted?
You can help someone who is abused or who has been assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Go with her or him to the police, the hospital, or to counseling. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault and that it is natural to feel angry and ashamed.
How much does it cost?
There is no charge for the forensic medical exam.
Do I have to report it to law enforcement?
Adults over the age 18 are not required to report their assault to law enforcement.
Patients of different ages, social, cultural and religious/spiritual backgrounds may have varying feelings regarding acceptable treatment options for pregnancy prevention. The various options will be explored in detail at the time of the exam.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Contracting a sexually transmitted infection is typically a concern of sexual assault patients. Because of this concern it will be addressed as part of the forensic medical exam.
How do I find out the investigator in my case?
Contact the law enforcement agency in the city or county where the crime occurred.
How do I file a Victims Compensation Claim?
Call 1-800-745-6098 or your local District Attorney's Office
Emergency Department phone number (405) 742-5454 SANE
Heidi Gilbert: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mischa Smith: email@example.com
Click here for to view all SANE programs in Oklahoma.
Wings of Hope
24-Hour Helpline (405) 624-3020