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Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence
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.
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
- 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.
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:
- 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.
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.