The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is working to eliminate all forms of sexual violence and to advocate for the rights and needs of victims of sexual assault.

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For years, victims of sexual assault have been forced to wait long hours in the emergency department before receiving a forensic exam. The development of sexual assault forensic examiner programs (SAFE) and sexual assault response teams (SART) has changed this and improved care for victims. A number of hospitals and communities in Pennsylvania have SAFE/SART programs.

A sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) or sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) is a specially trained registered nurse, physician assistant, or physician who provides comprehensive care, timely collection of forensic evidence and testimony in sexual assault cases. The terms SAFE and SANE are interchangeable. The SAFE also takes care of medications for preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

SAFEs work best when part of a sexual assault response team (SART). A SART is a multidisciplinary team, which works collaboratively to provide specialized services for victims of sexual assault. The team includes at a minimum, a sexual assault forensic examiner, sexual assault counselor/advocate, a law enforcement representative and a prosecutor. Other members of the community can be a part of the team. The team should be designed to meet the unique needs of each community.

For more information about SAFE/SART, including training, contact PCAR’s Medical Advocacy Coordinator at 717- 728-9740 ext. 132.

The PDF document, SART Guidelines, outlines the roles of each SART member.

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape * 125 N. Enola Dr. * Enola, PA 17025 * (717) 728-9740 * (800) 692-7445 * TTY (877) 585-1091

24-hour Information and Referral: 1-888-772-PCAR

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