SafeHouse Center
24/7 HelpLine: 734-995-5444
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Linea de Apoyo de 24 horas: 734-995-5444
Si esta en grave peligro, llame a 911.

What to do following an assault

What to do if you’ve experienced an Sexual assault

If you are in immediate danger, dial 911. 

Seek medical care. You may need specialized medical care as soon as possible after experiencing a domestic or sexual assault, you may have injuries related to the assault that aren’t immediately visible and even if you do not want to make an immediate police report. A medical evaluation is important for your own personal health and well-being. Your healthcare provider can also answer other health-related questions and address specific concerns such as the risks such as sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.

If you want to make a police report contact the local police department. You can call the direct line to your local police department or visit the station in person. For sexual assault, the police can assist you in getting specialized medical care and an evidentiary examination. They can also help you preserve other evidence and address any concerns you have related to your personal safety and security.

Find support. Dealing with sexual assault or domestic violence can be overwhelming.  Reaching out to a friend, co-worker, family member, or someone else you trust can be helpfulYou can also get support from a counselor or an agency that provides specialized services for domestic violence or sexual assault victims such as SafeHouse Center or an organization in your area.

Seeking medical care for Sexual Assault:

For victims assaulted within the last 5 days (120 hours)

If you have been assaulted within the last 5 days (or 120 hours), you are eligible for a medical-forensic exam, otherwise known as a “rape kit”. This is both a medical exam (to evaluate for injury and provide medications) and a forensic exam (to collect evidence). If you are able, try to preserve evidence of the assault. This could be clothing, bedding, undergarments or physical evidence on your body.

Even if you are unsure about whether you want to make a police report, you can still have evidence collected. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault in a paper (not plastic) bag. You do not need to file a police report for a medical-forensic exam. However, if you are unsure about filing a police report, it is still a good idea to have a kit completed. SANEs will hold the kit for one year before discarding. The important thing is to get the kit done while you decide if you want to turn the kit over.  

Assaulted more than 5 days ago (More than 120 hrs)

If you have been assaulted more than 5 days ago (more than 120 hrs), you are not able to receive a medical-forensic exam, however, support and help is still available. You can also still seek medical care, advocacy and make a police report.

The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART)

The SART team is activated 24 hours/7 days a week whenever a victim presents at the Emergency Room. The team offers prompt, compassionate care and help make sure victims are not re-traumatized when they visit hospital departments.

The SART team is made up of sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE), law enforcement and SHC advocates who provide comprehensive care to the victims of sexual assault. Sexual assault patients receive both emotional support by the advocate and medical care in a safe environment. This care includes medical attention, a detailed forensic exam and prophylactic medication as indicated.  There is no fee for this service.

What Does the Team Do?

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are available on-call 24 hours a day as part of the crisis Sexual Assault Response Team. SANEs assist any victim of sexual assault who reports the crime within 120 hours of its occurrence and examine both males, females and gender non-conforming. These specially trained registered nurses have advanced training in caring for victims of sexual assault and provide the medical-forensic examination. SANE services are available at St. Joseph Mercy and University of Michigan Hospital. All services are free of charge to victims.

SafeHouse Center Advocates provide in person support, compassion and information to survivors and their friends and family members. Advocates are able to answer questions about the process including medical exam, law enforcement involvement and provide resources for the survivor.

Law Enforcement: State Law mandates a hospital to notify Law Enforcement when a victim of a crime presents. HOWEVER, the survivor does not have to speak with/file a report with LE in order to receive a sexual assault evidentiary exam.  If the survivor chooses to speak with law enforcement they will take a report.