Clinical Services

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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 assaulted, 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 collected?

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 the offender.

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