Patients and families
If you or your loved one has been sexually assaulted, we understand how difficult this can be. If you are in immediate danger, feel unsafe, or want to report to the police, immediately call 911.
Adults and adolescents (12 years of age and older)
After a sexual assault, it is important to get medical care to treat any injuries and have the option of taking medications to help prevent an assault-related pregnancy or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) including HIV. You can also choose to be tested for STIs.
If the assault occurred within the past 5 days, you may also choose to have a medical forensic examination and forensic evidence collection kit (Kit) completed. While all emergency departments are trained to do a medical forensic exam and Kit, specific hospitals are designated as “MA SANE sites” (you can find a list of them here). If you choose to receive care at a SANE site, a SANE will travel there to care for you when called by the hospital.
A medical forensic exam and Kit can be done whether or not you wish to report the assault to the police. If you are unsure, the Kit will be stored for at least 15 years during which time you can choose to report or not report.
A Rape Crisis Advocate will also come to the hospital to be with you and to offer services to help you going forward.
Don’t worry about remembering everything. When you get to a hospital, the SANE or emergency room provider can explain all of your options.
If the assault has occurred within 5 days, it is best if you do not shower, bathe, or change your clothes—even if you did, you can still have evidence collected and receive medical care, including emergency contraception, medication, and STI testing. If you have changed clothes, please bring the clothes you were wearing during the assault to the hospital with you.
Children (11 years of age and younger)
Abuse happened within 3 days:
It is important that a child who is sexually abused gets medical care. This is to check for any injuries, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), and to assure the child that their body is healthy and normal. Children can have a medical forensic exam and forensic evidence kit done if the assault was within the past 3 days. All hospital emergency departments have a forensic kit designed for children known as the MA Pedi Kit. All steps of the MA Pedi Kit are minimally invasive and should not cause the child any pain or discomfort
SANEs will respond to the hospital emergency department in five MA hospitals listed here to provide care for children 11 years and younger. In all other hospitals, doctors and nurses will be able to complete an exam and MA Pedi Kit. The MA SANE Program helps to train those doctors and nurses about using the MA Pedi Kit.
If the assault has occurred within 3 days, it is best if your child does not shower, bathe, or change clothes— even if they have, they can still get care and have a MA PEDI Kit done. If your child has changed clothes, please bring the clothes they were wearing at the time of the assault to the hospital with them.
Abuse happened more than 3 days ago:
If the abuse happened more than 3 days ago, a MA PEDI Kit will not be done but your child can get a medical forensic exam and testing for STIs. The best place for this to happen is within a Children’s Advocacy Center where a whole team of people, who are specially trained to care for children will be able to help. A Pediatric SANE or specially-trained doctor will help to care for your child and offer your child a head-to-toe exam to assure your child that they are healthy. Find a list of MA CACs here.