Sexual Assault Hospital Accompaniment
Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline: 703-237-0881
Doorways provides survivors of sexual assault accompaniment to the hospital for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exams. Accessible through the 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline, and in partnership with Arlington County’s Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, Doorways staff and volunteers are available to provide immediate, in-person support to sexual assault survivors receiving a SANE exam at an area hospital. A SANE exam is a forensic exam performed by a certified, trained nurse that gathers evidence for future use by medical and legal personnel in the pursuit and investigation of a criminal case.
There is no legal requirement that a survivor of sexual assault take a SANE exam, nor is the exam required in order for a survivor to participate with law enforcement or criminal justice personnel in any criminal or legal proceedings. While survivors have the choice, the time immediately following a sexual assault can be very difficult and confusing, affecting a person’s ability to make decisions. A SANE exam can be a traumatic experience on top of the actual assault. Doorways staff and volunteers are trained to provide survivors with support, companionship, information and referrals during this exceptionally painful time.