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Sexual Assault Forensic Exams
Wellspring partners with Saratoga Hospital and Glens Falls Hospital to provide comprehensive emergency response to victims of sexual assault. These hospitals have specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) who provide “immediate, compassionate, culturally sensitive and comprehensive forensic evaluation and treatment . . . in a private, supportive setting to all victims of sexual assault, regardless of whether or not they choose to report to law enforcement .” Only upon the victim’s request, law enforcement will be called to conduct an investigation. Many times, victims who present to the hospital have already reported to law enforcement and, as part of their investigation, the law enforcement officer directed the victim to the hospital to have evidence collected.
The role of the advocate during a SAFE is similar to the prevailing responsibilities of Wellspring staff when working with a victim in all environments – provide crisis intervention to, and advocate on behalf of, victims; helping them achieve safety and stability by providing them information and education about the dynamics of sexual assault as well as their rights and options related to emergency and community-based resources, ultimately supporting their individual autonomy to make informed decisions.
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