The Safe Place - FAQs
What is different between being seen in an emergency room and The Safe Place?
The Safe Place provides highly individual care in a private suite away
from the busyness of the emergency room. By utilizing The Safe Place,
the amount of time spent for forensic examination and treatment can be
reduced significantly. You must remember, “time is evidence”,
the sooner the examination the better the evidence.
NOTE: Patients who present to the Emergency Room reporting being
must be assessed by the medical staff in an Emergency Department to rule out
urgent medical needs.
Do I have to pay for the medical care I receive at The Safe Place?
No, the handling law enforcement agency where the crime occurred will pay
for the examination.
What if I don’t want to make a Police report, but I want my evidence
Reporting the crime to law enforcement is highly recommended but not always
required to receive a forensic examination. In the event that a victim
is unable to make a decision about whether they want to report to law
enforcement in the immediate aftermath of the assault, there is another
option available called "non-police reported" examination. This
option is often referred to as a "VAWA" examination based on
a federal mandate from Violence Against Women Act. A VAWA examination
is just like any other individualized comprehensive examination where
physical findings are documented and evidence is collected right away.
The only difference is that the victim is given time to decided about
reporting the crime to law enforcement and whether or not to prosecute
Click here for more information about this law and options
What will happen once I am there?
Survivors of sexual violence, along with any friends or family, are initially
received at The Safe Place. A Crisis Advocate will meet you when arriving
to The Safe Place. The Crisis Advocate is there to support you until your
time at The Safe Place is complete. Upon arrival, the SANE Nurse will
conduct a brief interview designed to gather basic information about you
and the assault. The SANE Nurse will then perform a medical examination
to collect and document evidence and examine you physically to ensure
your health and well-being. This procedure is called a “sexual assault
forensic exam”. At the conclusion of the examination, medications
will be administered to you to help prevent transmission of diseases.
You will also be given information in regards to the findings of your
examination, post assault care at home and where to go for follow-up medical
care, if any are needed. The Crisis advocate will provide counseling resources.
Who does The Safe Place work with?
The Safe Place works with a variety of community partners:
- All law enforcement agencies in Orange County
- Orange County District Attorney Office
- Orange County Crime Lab
- CSP (Community Services Program)
- Orangewood Children and Family Center
- CAST (Child Abuse Services Team)
- Soroptimist International of Orange County (Fullerton)
- The Assistance League of Anaheim and Garden Grove
For more information about SART/Safe Place, SANEs, please call Forensic
Nurse Specialists at 562-430-6220