Triage and Intake

  • A sexual assault patient (hereinafter referred to as patient) should be considered a priority patient–regardless of whether additional physical injuries are evident.
  • Whenever practicable, provide a private area, such as a private treatment room, in which the patient can await both intake and treatment.
  • If possible, wait until the sexual assault counselor arrives before beginning the exam.
  • Avoid exposing the patient to places and situations which may cause her/him to suffer further emotional stress. Keep in mind the fears and disorientation which the patient may be experiencing.
  • Ask the patient if there is someone that s/he would like to have contacted, or anything that s/he needs at that time.
  • Exercise discretion and sensitivity when discussing a sexual assault victim or the family with other personnel (e.g., when summoning specialized personnel or when transporting evidence collection materials to an examination room).
  • Explain to the patient that urinating, rinsing mouth, showering, etc. may destroy evidence prior to collection. If a patient must go to the bathroom, warn her/him that semen or other evidence may be present in pubic, genital, and rectal areas, and not to wash or wipe away those secretions until after the examination.

The State of Connecticut, Office of Victim Services, Gail Burns-Smith Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Program (SAFE Program)

  • Hospitals participating in the SAFE Program use the following protocol for triaging patients
    • Triage should call the on-call SAFE at: (860) 263-0190. If triage is unable to reach the on-call SAFE or if there are any questions, call the Program Coordinator: (860) 748-3706.
    • The SAFE nurse will then call the local sexual assault crisis services program to activate an advocate.