The First 72 Hours
If you have been sexually assaulted in the last 72 hours (3 days) – the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee (SACETN) strongly recommends that you take the following actions:
- Go to a safe place or - if you have injuries that require medical attention, go to the nearest hospital immediately.
- Call SACETN’s Crisis Line at: 865-522-7273 or 1-888-522-5244. You will speak with an Advocate, who can review your options with you.
- You will then be instructed to come to the SANE Safe Center or a local hospital, should you choose to have an exam.
- Your body is a crime scene. Do not shower, bathe, douche, change your clothes, brush your teeth, or comb your hair. If you have changed your clothes since the assault, bring the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault with you to your exam; with your consent, we will collect them as evidence and provide you with new clothes to wear home.
What happens during a forensic exam?
- A SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) and an Advocate will meet you.
- With your consent, they can be present throughout the entire interview and examination process.
- A SANE nurse collects all pertinent information and performs an exam to collect evidence and, if necessary, photograph injuries. SANE nurses are specially trained in this type of evidence collection.
- After the exam is complete, the SANE will provide information regarding preventative measures.
- An exam can range from 1 to 5 hours from start to finish, depending on the extent of your injuries.
- If you need transportation, SACETN will provide cab service for you.
- If you do not wish to have an evidentiary exam, an advocate can talk with you about your options concerning notifying police and your legal rights under Tennessee laws.