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Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Sexual assault and domestic violence can happen to anyone. Our specially trained Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNE) and Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART) lead the way in providing 24/7 services and compassionate support in a secure and comfortable environment.
Additional Resources
For 24-hour help or advice, call (402) 354-4424 or (712) 396-6111. To learn about anonymous reporting options, go to sexualassaulthelp.org.

Comprehensive Services

We’re dedicated to supporting survivors after traumatic events. The Methodist Heidi Wilke SANE/SART survivor program, the most experienced program in the area, has specially trained forensic nurse examiners who work with adult and teen survivors in a comfortable, private exam space equipped with cutting-edge technology.

From start to finish, we walk survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence through the process. Their safety and sense of well-being are our highest priorities. We’re dedicated to physical and emotional recovery, and we’re determined to provide survivors the resiliency they need to regain control and feel whole again.

1

Before You Arrive

When and where a survivor seeks help are deeply personal decisions. Any time is the right time, and we’re standing by when you’re ready. However, seeking treatment within 120 hours (five days) of an assault is critical for:

  • Medical assessment and screening
  • Emotional support
  • Identification, care and documentation of injuries
  • Evidence collection
  • Preventive treatment for common sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
  • Emergency pregnancy prevention
  • Advocacy
  • Health care follow-up recommendations and referrals
  • Counseling and crisis care referrals

Important: If possible, don’t change clothes, bathe, shower, use the restroom or cleanse in any way prior to your examination. Try not to eat, drink or smoke before an exam. But know that evidence collection is still possible if you have done any of the above and should not prevent you from seeking care. Also know that in Nebraska, sexual assault forensic evidence cannot be used to prosecute a survivor for misdemeanors or some drug crimes.

2

What to Expect

We understand that each case is different. Every survivor has unique needs and requires individualized attention and treatment.

We have designed an area adjacent to our Emergency Department to specifically help anyone who has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault. Special rooms and showers are available for privacy and to facilitate evidence collection.

During an exam, a forensic nurse examiner who is part of our sexual assault response team (SART) will complete a medical-forensic examination. This may include:

  • A complete medical history
  • Evidence collection including:
    • Clothing
    • Fingernail and oral swabs
    • A pelvic exam
    • High-definition photographs with the Cortexflo camera, a specialized system used for injury documentation and photo enhancement
  • A medical screening by an Emergency Department provider

We ensure that every exam is done with absolute precision and accuracy, avoiding invasive measures that may compromise a survivor’s comfort and sense of security. 

It’s also important that you talk with the forensic nurse examiner about your reporting options to law enforcement. State laws allows most adult survivors to seek medical care, have evidence collected and report anonymously to law enforcement if they choose. This gives survivors time to decide whether they want to pursue legal action. This doesn’t apply to minors or in cases where the survivor is severely injured. Iowa has a similar anonymous reporting provision.

3

After the Exam

Survivor care doesn’t end when the exam does. Follow-up exams and counseling referrals are available at the Methodist Community Health Clinic at 26th Avenue and Douglas Street in Omaha.

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services Are Available at These Locations:

About the SART Team

Additional resources, such as laboratory, infection control, spiritual care and patient education, are available as needed.

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), also known as Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE)

A trained person you can count on to listen to you, evaluate and tend to your health care needs, collect evidence, document findings, and furnish referrals to the people, agencies and services that can help once you leave the hospital.

Physician

An emergency department physician is available to treat injuries and address any medical problems.

Victim Advocate

We work with the Women's Center for Advancement (WCA), Heartland Family Service and The Bridge to provide in-person advocacy before, during and after the exam. Advocates also will be able to refer you to ongoing individual and group counseling programs.

Law Enforcement Officer

An officer will maintain your safety, take custody of evidence and investigate the report.

About the Heidi Wilke SANE/SART Survivor Program

Heidi Wilke was attacked and raped following a business meeting in downtown Omaha. Acutely aware of the special needs of sexual assault survivors, Heidi and her husband, Jeff, have been instrumental in the development of the first SANE/SART program in the Omaha area. The Wilkes have worked closely with Methodist Hospital Foundation to spearhead fundraising efforts to endow the program permanently.

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