Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE's) are experienced registered nurses specifically educated to meet the needs of the sexual assault survivor as well as provide a valuable resource to physicians, staff nurses, police investigators, and prosecutors. ​


Statistics indicate that less than 5% of sexual assault victims require medical treatment. Increasingly, physicians support the use of sexual nurse examiners for the forensic patient when no medical treatment is required. The primary responsibilities of the forensic nurse are to medically clear the patient from injuries and recognize the criteria for referral or consultation with a physician, and to collect forensic evidence.  


Nationally, sexual assault nurse examiners already use written protocols to provide five essential components of the sexual assault examination:

• Participate in the team interview.

• Perform the physical assessment.

• Collect, package, and document findings.

• Provide education, referral, and treatment.

• Testify in court ​ Forensic nurses are also skilled in psychological intervention, a necessary component to stabilize the emotional equilibrium of the victim. Protocols include standing orders for treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, as well as follow-up care.


Nurses are skilled in the use of the colposcope and are increasing the documentation of microtrauma consistent with forced sexual contact.


Forensic nurse sexual examiners provide continuity of quality of care from the health care facility to the court of law.


Taken from: "Forensic Nursing: An Essential Element in Managing Society's Violence an Its Victims" by Virginia A Lynch A.S.T.M. Standardization News. April 1995