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Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program

Sexual assault is an all-too-common occurrence that affects both victims and their support systems. Lakeside Hospital and the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office recognize the need to help sexual assault victims right away and begin the healing process. In addition, we believe hospitals play an important role in providing holistic health care, collection of physical evidence and referral to resources within the community.

That's why we are proud our partnership offers the parish’s first and only Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, specifically dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive care to anyone age 15 years and older, regardless of gender, location of the crime, where they live or if there is police involvement.

In Louisiana, state law requires the Coroner or his or her designee to examine all alleged victims of a sexually oriented criminal offense. Learn more from the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office.

Lakeside Hospital and the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office offer a dedicated, safe suite where specially trained nurses use the latest technology to treat victims of sexual assault in a private, confidential setting. The SANE nurse provides one-on-one confidential expert care. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No appointment is necessary, and translation services are available for non-English speakers.

SANE-certified nurses undergo more than 100 hours of rigorous classroom and clinical training to prepare to:

  • Show compassion and sensitivity to victims of sexual assault
  • Conduct forensic exams and collect evidence
  • Provide effective courtroom testimony
  • Coordinate sexual assault advocacy

A forensic medical exam can be done up to five days (120 hours) after the assault has occurred, but getting treatment sooner than later is best for the victim.

Victims of sexually oriented crimes who are age 14 or under should report to the emergency room of Children’s Hospital New Orleans, 200 Henry Clay Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118 or the Audrey Hepburn CARE Center, 1101 Calhoun Street, New Orleans, LA 70118.

What should I do immediately?

  • Get to a place where you feel safe.
  • Preserve evidence, and try not to:
    • Take a shower, bathe or clean anything that might be evidence
    • Brush, floss or use mouthwash
    • Use the bathroom
    • Eat or drink anything
    • Change clothes

What are my options?

Go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 if you would like police involvement.

What is a sexual assault?

A sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual contact. It can happen to anyone. A person who is sexually assaulted is never to blame. The perpetrator of these crimes can be someone you know or a stranger.

What will happen at the hospital?

After you have been checked into the emergency room, a SANE nurse and medical advocate will be called while the emergency room physician evaluates you for any life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

The SANE nurse and medical advocate will:

  • Offer you information about your legal and medical options
  • Obtain and document your medical history
  • Collect and document evidence of a crime
  • Collaborate with hospital staff to ensure you are provided with medications to prevent pregnancy and many sexually transmitted diseases
  • Evaluate you for injuries or illnesses
  • Offer you a change of clothing and other comfort items
  • Provide referrals for follow-up care, including counseling and medical treatment

Do I have to report to police?

You do not have to report the incident to police unless we are required by mandatory reporting laws, which only include victims under 18 years of age or disabled/elderly adults. If you are unsure about reporting, we suggest you have an “unreported kit” collected and receive medical treatment.

Do I have to pay for a SANE exam?

No. You will not be charged for any part of your SANE exam, including co-pays or deductibles. Submitting the visit to your insurance company is optional for private payers. There are also financial resources available for follow-up medical expenses through a confidential Crime Victim Reparations Program. Your SANE nurse or medical advocate will provide additional information.

Additional Resources

Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office
Department of Mental Health and Sexual Assault Services

Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault (LaFASA)

Mobile Crisis Services

Metro Centers for Community Advocacy

STAR – Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response
1.855.435.STAR (7827)

Child Protection Hotline (Ages 17 & Under)

Bureau of Adult & Elderly Protection Services (Ages 18 & Over)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network Nationwide (RAINN)
1.800.656.HOPE (4673)

211 or VIALINK
Phone: 211 or 504.269.2673
Text Hotline: 504.777.EASE (3272)