Sexual Assault Hospital Accompaniment
Doorways provides shelter and services to individuals and families in Arlington, Virginia. If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse in our community, call Arlington’s 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline 703-237-0881 for information and support. Please call 911 if you are experiencing a life-threatening situation. Not in Arlington? Please see alternative resources here.
Arlington’s 24-Hour 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.