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Justice, Duty, Honor

SAFE Program

safeThe Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner (SAFE) Program provides for the collection of forensic evidence by specially trained nurse examiners from Saratoga Hospital for the purpose of aiding law enforcement and the D.A.’s office in successful prosecution.  The SAFE program helps victims of rape and sexual abuse by improving the collection of forensic evidence.  Working hand in hand with the Child Advocacy Center, this program ensures that medical evidence is obtained in a timely and orderly fashion, all the while seeking to maintain the dignity of victims (e.g., rape crisis advocates are available during exams).

For more information on the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program you may contact either Saratoga Hospital or Domestic Violence/Rape Crisis Services in Saratoga Springs.

Some important information for victims of rape and sexual assault:

  • Do not be ashamed or afraid to seek help.
  • Don’t shower, bathe, urinate or brush your teeth, because you could wash away vital evidence. You might even have evidence under your fingernails.
  • Save all clothing that you were wearing, and don’t clean them. They could have evidence on them.
  • Seek medical help, right way. Go to Saratoga Hospital. Nurses at Saratoga Hospital are trained in sexual assault cases. They will examine a victim and, only with the victim’s permission, release the information to police. The hospital will hold on to the evidence for up to 30 days, during which time the victim can decide whether to report the crime to police. The key is to collect the evidence from the victim right away, so that it can be used for eventual prosecution if the victim so chooses.
  • It is your decision whether to report the crime. But do get medical help, and know that there are counselors available to help you, whether or not you report it to the police.
  • Call 911 if you are in danger.
  • There is also a 24-hour rape crisis hotline, 587-2336.
  • New York is now among the states that have eliminated the statute of limitations for prosecuting rape cases.
  • Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services of Saratoga County provides free, absolutely confidential, comprehensive services to victims, as well as education about prevention. The agency’s non-emergency office number is 583-0280.
  • It is the practice of police and the media to protect the identity of victims of sexual assault.
  • The media and police use words like “alleged” and “reported,” not to insinuate that the woman is lying, but because, at this point, that is all that can be said for sure.
  • A forensic exam can usually determine that injuries to the victim support the assault claim, but not always.
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