Center of Hope
Compassionate, Prompt Care for Victims of Sexual Assault
At Franciscan Health Center of Hope locations, victims receive prompt and undivided attention in a private, non-traumatic, compassionate place. The Center of Hope program helps a rape or sexual assault victim and his or her support persons to focus one-on-one. It also reduces error and omission in evidence collection and ensures support to the victim during the judicial process.
A sensitive, professional response team
Everyone involved in the program is sensitive to the special needs of the victim of a sexual assault or rape. The response team includes:
- Law enforcement officers
- Victim advocates
- Sexual assault nurse examiners/physician examiners
- Crisis intervention counselors (may be involved initially to meet the victim's needs)
Medical care from specially trained clinicians
On staff at each Center of Hope are forensic clinicians or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners specially trained to provide competent medical/forensic exams, if possible, and the following services:
- Medical care
- Prophylactic medications
- Forensic evidence collection, injury identification and documentation
- Follow up resources
- Post-assault resources provided in the community and surrounding areas
If you are assaulted
- Report the crime immediately to the police.
- Do not disturb the scene of the assault.
- Do not shower, douche, or change clothing.
- Go immediately to a Center of Hope or a local hospital and have an exam for sexual assault. Centers of Hope have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners available. These nurses have been trained to gather forensic evidence and conduct a medical exam per the policy of each hospital.
- Inform police of all details of attack, however intimate, and of anything unusual you may have noted about the attacker. Remember what the person said and how it was said. It may lead to the arrest of the assailant.
- Show police and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner any external bruises or injuries, however minor, resulting from the attack.
- The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner or the police may request your clothes for purpose of evidence.
- Inform the police if you remember anything that was not previously reported.