Doylestown Hospital
595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 (215) 345-2200
V.I.A. Health System
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The Need for SAFE


SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner)


CAN YOU HELP ME?

I've been sexually assaulted, or the victim of child abuse, elder abuse or domestic violence.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted or the victim of child abuse, elder abuse or domestic violence, immediate help is available at Doylestown Hospital, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 

If you need assistance as a victim of sexual assault or violence, please call Doylestown Hospital:

215-345-2280 or 911

Anyone can be at risk for sexual assault, child or elder abuse or domestic violence.  Many times people find themselves in situations where others can take advantage of them.  Most people think that sexual assaults or other types of personal violence happen mostly to women, but they also happen to men, children, the elderly, or the disabled.  Sexual assault doesn't always happen in an unsafe place.  It can occur anywhere: in a social setting, on a date or in one's home by a spouse or relative. The same is true for other kinds of violence, including child abuse, elder abuse or domestic violence.
  
Call and get help immediately!

Anyone who is a victim of sexual assault or personal violence should go to Doylestown Hospital's Emergency Department immediately or if not possible, call (215) 345-2280 or 911 for help. No sexual assault or victim of violence should be embarrassed or fearful about going to the ED for help. There is tremendous, sympathetic, support from all the Doylestown Hospital Emergency Services staff, including nurses, physicians, social workers, and hospital administration. They also work with the District Attorney's office and local police departments.
 
Sexual assault and personal violence are true emergencies.

Physically and emotionally, victims of sexual assault or violence should seek immediate medical care.

Call the Doylestown Hospital Emergency Services Department at 215-345-2280 or 911.

Emergency services, the police and the District Attorney's office are familiar with the SAFE program of Doylestown Hospital.

**If you are a victim of sexual assault, do not change your clothes or shower before coming to the Emergency Department.  Nurses will need to collect and preserve any evidence of sexual assault.  Changing clothes or showering may destroy this evidence.**

What will happen at the hospital:

At Doylestown Hospital, the sexual assault victim will receive immediate assistance through the SAFE program.  SAFE consists of a team of registered nurses with extensive experience and specialized training in the medical and legal aspects of treating victims of sexual assault or other types of violence. They will provide the victim with a safe, responsive, healing environment to give immediate assistance.  The SAFE nurse understands the special emotional and physical needs of the sexual assault or personal violence victim.  This nurse's individual help and attention will aid in beginning to restore the personal dignity that has been taken away through the terrible violation of sexual assault or other types of abuse. 

Once at the Emergency Department, the victim will be taken into a private, comfortable and safe area. A specially trained SAFE nurse will be called immediately to take care of the physical examination, and a representative from the Network of Victim Assistance will be called also.

The nurse will explain the examination in detail.  Before you leave the hospital, the nurse will give you medication to prevent disease, and will provide information about local, social and governmental agencies that can offer support.

There is no cost to the victim for the forensic exam, and the entire process is completely confidential.

What will happen later:

The nurse who sees you in the Emergency Services department will give you detailed instructions for follow-up.  She will make sure that you have any needed referral agency numbers and that you will be able to contact someone for extra support.  She will also answer any questions or concerns you or your family may have.

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