If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, whatever you’re feeling right now is okay. There is no right way or wrong way to feel after experiencing sexual violence. Most importantly, we want you to know that it was NOT YOUR FAULT. There is nothing anyone can do to deserve to be raped or sexually assaulted.
If you have just experienced rape or sexual assault, here are some important tips:
Go to a safe place and contact a safe person
Do not change your clothes, take a shower/bath or brush your teeth
Seek medical attention immediately
Call SAC’s 24 Hour Crisis & Support Line for help at 1-866-811-RISE (7473)
To start your healing process, please call our Client Navigator,
Our crisis and support line is available 24 hours a day for anyone in need of support, referrals and information for themselves or someone they know including assistance immediately following a sexual assault. 1-866-811-RISE (7473)
Our Hospital Accompany Program (H.A.P.) trains volunteers to support individuals who were recently sexually assaulted during their forensic medical exams at Nashville Metro General Hospital.
Rape examinations are not available at every hospital in Tennessee. If you need help finding the closest hospital that can provide an examination, please call our crisis and support line: 1-866-811-RISE (7473) If you are outside Davidson County, we can still help you find the resources and support your needs.
To report child sexual abuse, please contact the Department of Child Services at 1-877-237-0004 or online at https://apps.tn.gov/carat/.
The most important thing to do directly after a sexual assault is to get to a safe place. If you have access to a phone, you can call our 24-hour crisis and support line; our volunteers will be able to provide you will support and information.
You have the right to choose if you receive a forensic medical exam and/or report to law enforcement.
What is a forensic medical exam?
A Medical Legal Exam, also referred to as a rape kit, is a procedure performed by a healthcare provider in order to collect and preserve forensic evidence. The evidence collected can be used in the future if you decide to report to law enforcement. As a part of the rape kit, a medical exam is also performed.
Do I have to get a forensic medical exam?
No, you have the right to decide if you receive a forensic medical exam. If you choose to have one completed, you will need to receive the exam within 24-120 hours following the sexual assault. Before the exam, it is important not to shower/bath, brush your teeth, change clothes, or douche before going to the hospital.
Is getting a forensic medical exam the same as reporting to law enforcement?
No. You can choose to receive a forensic medical exam and not report to law enforcement. Healthcare providers are not required to report sexual assaults to law enforcement.
You can choose to report to law enforcement even if you chose not to receive a forensic medical exam.
How do I receive a forensic medical exam?
Nashville Metro General Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center also provide examinations following a sexual assault. If you need help finding the closest hospital that can provide an examination, please call our crisis and support line: 1.800.879.1999. When you arrive at the hospital, you should go to the ER to receive care.
What can I expect during the forensic medical exam?
The forensic medical exam will be completed in a hospital and performed by a medical provider. They will ask you questions about the sexual assault and your medical history in order to provide you with the best possible treatment. They will also answer any questions or medical concerns you may have.
During the exam, they may also:
Take blood, urine, saliva, nail and pubic hair combing samples.
Place items of your clothing in the evidence collection kit (with your permission).
Prescribe medications to protect you from certain sexually transmitted infections (STI).
The healthcare provider will explain the various STIs, the medications, and recommend any necessary follow-up care.
What if I change my mind after starting the forensic medical exam?
You can stop the exam at any time.
How much will a forensic medical exam cost?
Forensic medical exams following a sexual assault are free of charge.
Do I have to receive a forensic medical exam or report to law enforcement to receive support from S.A.C?
No. Our services are always available to anyone affected by sexual assault. We respect your right to make the decisions that affect you and we will support the decisions you make.
Call our office at 615-259-9055 to speak with our Intake Assistance or our Advocacy Department.