Sexual assault forensic medical examinations in Palm Beach County are performed by SANEs (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) at the Butterfly House - a forensic examination site located adjacent to Wellington ER. When medically necessary these exams are performed in hospital emergency departments.
A sexual assault forensic medical exam addresses the health concerns of a victim as they relate to sexual assault and facilitates the collection and preservation of forensic evidence. While most health care providers are able to provide general medical care, not just anyone can conduct a sexual assault forensic medical exam.
SANEs are registered nurses with advanced education and clinical preparation in sexual assault forensic medical examinations.
A victim of sexual assault can seek assistance by presenting at a local hospital, contacting law enforcement or contacting the helpline at 1-561-833-RAPE.
When a victim of sexual assault seeks help at one of these facilities, the on-call SANE is contacted to perform the examination. The SANE typically begins the examination after the victim has been assessed and treated for serious injuries. Experienced SANEs provide compassionate care, expertise in identifying physical trauma, psychological needs, skill in coordinating care and referrals, and knowledge regarding how to document injuries and other forensic evidence.
As a part of post-exam duties when the criminal justice system is involved, SANEs are often called upon to interpret, analyze and present exam findings as they provide factual and/or expert testimony related to the examination. Thorough evidence collection and testimony by SANEs have helped prosecutors obtain increased numbers of guilty pleas from offenders and have increased the number of convictions resulting in safer communities for all of us.