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Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE)

What is the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program?
Eastern Health has been providing the services of a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE) since November 2005. The program operates out of the Emergency Department at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital.

The SANE Program is staffed with a team of nurses, who have advanced training and education in medical and forensic assessment of a person who has been sexually assaulted. These nurses are committed to providing compassionate, sensitive, patient centered, quality care; as well as assisting patients in making informed decisions about their care and how to move forward. 

The goal of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program is to provide options and choices about medical care and/or police reporting, provide medications to prevent infection and pregnancy, and connect patients with counseling services so they have appropriate support in moving forward if they choose to. 

Intended for:
Persons who have been recently sexually assaulted. Male or female over 16 years of age.


Emergency Department, St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital


Open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week

Emergency: 709–777–5502
SANE Program Office: 709–777–5865
What is sexual assault?
The terms "sexual assault" and "rape" may be used interchangeably.
Sexual assault is:
  • an act of violence or aggression involving a sexual attack either verbal, emotional or physical
  • touching in a sexual way without permission, including if you were asleep, unconscious, high or drunk
  • forced kissing or fondling
  • forced oral, anal or vaginal penetration
The person who assaulted you may be a stranger, friend, partner, or acquaintance. All forms of sexual assault are crimes.


What to do if you are sexually assaulted?
  • Go to a safe place.
  • Call 911 or your local police if you believe you are still in danger.
  • Go to a hospital, medical clinic as soon as possible for medical care.
  • Do not change your clothing, shower or bath, brush your teeth, smoke, and chew gum if possible.
What happens if you go to the hospital?
You will receive medical help after a sexual assault.  
  • When you report to an emergency department, you will visit the triage desk and be asked why you have come to hospital.
  • If medically stable, the SANE Team will be consulted and be at the hospital to see you as soon as possible.
  • You will be placed in a private room.
  • You can have a support person present before and during the exam.
  • If you choose, a volunteer from the Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Center will be called to help support you through the exam process and provide you with important resources.
  • You will be examined and treated for any injuries from the assault.
  • Treatment with medications to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases will be addressed and provided if necessary.
  • Options of whether or not to involve police and collection of evidence will be addressed.
While at the Emergency Department:

SANE offers a comfortable and safe location for patients to meet with their care team. The SANE exam room is safe and private.


Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make the choices that are best for you.


It is normal if you are experiencing any of the following?

  • You may find that you feel sad, angry or embarrassed.
  • You may blame yourself.
  • You may have changes in eating and sleeping patterns, confusion, forgetfulness, and trouble concentrating.
  • Thoughts of the event may flood your mind at times and cause you to cry or lash out.
  • You may feel physically sick and experience headaches, abdominal pain, fatigue and depression.
  • Even if you don’t have physical injuries, it does not mean your sexual assault is any less serious.
Other helpful resources:


Updated Oct 26, 2018