Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE)

Avera provides around-the-clock access to specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE), both in-person and via telemedicine. SANE practitioners are specifically trained in providing trauma-informed care and forensic evidence collection for patients who have experienced sexual assault or sexual violence. 

We are here to help you heal. 

Treating Sexual Assault

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience sexual violence of some kind during their lifetime. Some of those victims walk through the doors of emergency rooms seeking treatment and compassion. 

To begin the process of physical, mental and spiritual recovery, we can talk through risk levels and treatments for the following:

  • Sexually transmitted disease: Sexual assault can place you at risk for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, trichomoniasis, and viral hepatitis (hepatitis B or C). Your care team may recommend treatment for some of these diseases right away and discuss recommended follow up testing and/or treatment.
  • HIV: You have a very slight risk of getting HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) from a sexual assault. Your care team will review your risk level with you and determine if medicines are needed to protect you against the virus.
  • Pregnancy: Your care team can discuss options with you. 

Follow-Up Care

Be sure to visit your primary health care provider again within two weeks. Your follow-up visit will give you time to discuss your hepatitis B vaccination status and the Gardasil vaccine used to prevent human papilloma virus (HPV). Your provider may also recommend repeat testing for HIV. Together with your care team, you can make a plan for repeat testing and continued follow-up care. 

When to Call a Doctor

Call your health care provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Redness, swelling or increasing pain in any injured area
  • Genital discharge or unexpected bleeding
  • Lower abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Fever of 100.4 or higher, or as directed by your health care provider
  • Pain or burning with urination 

Mental Health Resources and Home Care

Sexual assault is a crime of violence. Remember that it was not your fault. No one has the right to hurt you, regardless of what you say, wear or do. 

Long-term emotions following the assault may include the following:

  • Shock
  • Nervousness
  • Denial
  • Distrust of others
  • Fear
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Confusion
  • Avoiding friends or family
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Withdrawal
  • Flashbacks
  • Shame or guilt
  • Mental replay of the assault 

Other Resources

Help is available to those who need it. Here are other ways to get the help you need:

We're Here For You

Need someone to talk you through a crisis situation? Call the Helpline Center at 605-339-4359.

Find Your Nearest Emergency Department

Check our interactive map to find the Avera emergency department closest to you. Then, view that hospital’s location profile for more facility details.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.