Forensic Medical Exams for Survivors of Sexual or Domestic Violence
Our emergency department has forensic nurse examiners ready to care for people who have experienced a sexual or domestic assault. If you or someone you love has been assaulted, we are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at:
Compassionate Care - Close to Home
Everything that takes place is your choice; you can say yes to (agree) or say no to (decline) any part of the exam.
Forensic Examination Questions and Answers
Come to the Emergency Department at LincolnHealth, Pen Bay Medical Center, or Waldo County General Hospital. We have a team of nurses trained to provide care for all survivors of sexual assault and domestic assault in a safe, private and non-judgmental setting.
If a forensic nurse is not available, the medical forensic exam can be performed by an Emergency Department nurse and doctor.
You can expect a medical forensic exam, including:
An exam and needed treatment
- A head to toe physical exam on all parts of your body
- Diagnosis and treatment for any injuries
- Testing if needed
- Medicine to prevent or treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Medications like Plan B or Ella to prevent unwanted pregnancy if the assault was within 5 days of your visit
- Medicine to prevent HIV, if indicated clinically, and within 72 hours of assault
Documentation of evidence
- Your care team will document the exam. This may include photographs of injuries, if that is something you are comfortable with.
- We will collect evidence if you choose at the time of the exam. You can also choose to report the assault to law enforcement at the time of the exam.
- We can submit evidence to law enforcement anonymously if you would still like it to be collected, but you don’t want to report at the time. Law enforcement must keep the evidence for 8 years. This will give you time to decide if you want to report. The evidence we collect may be helpful in a potential trial.
Again, all of these exams and treatments are optional. We will not do anything you do not want to do.
No. Adults over the age of 18 do not have to report, but we are required to report domestic or sexual assault of anyone who is under 18 (also called a minor).
No. If you choose, the police may be able to come to the hospital and speak with you before or after your medical forensic exam.
Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Advocates are professionals trained to support survivors of a sexual or domestic assault. We have advocates available at the hospital and encourage you to connect with one. Advocates can:
• Accompany you during your exam in the emergency room.
• Offer emotional support and information.
• Help you with paperwork and finding resources.
• They can also help you navigate through social services and law enforcement or legal proceedings.
• Your child will receive a head-to-toe exam and receive treatment
• Testing if needed
• Evidence may be collected
• We are required to notify DHHS.
• Your child may be referred to the Spurwink Center for Safe and Healthy Families for a follow-up exam.
- SASSMM (Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine) | www.sassmm.org | 800-871-7741
- New Hope for Women | www.newhopeforwomen.org | 800-522-3304