SANE Program

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner

Sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) are registered nurses who have completed specialized forensic training in the care and treatment of sexual and domestic assault victims. The nurse provides evidence documentation for all assaults regardless of whether or not the patient chooses to report to law enforcement.

Our SANE team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide the care and support you will need.

Have you been sexually assaulted?

Sexual assault can include touch, force or coercion by an acquaintance, someone you know well or by a stranger. It can happen anywhere at any time. Sexual assault is a crime. Any person who has experienced assault is in need of the specialized care that our SANE program provides.

The SANE program at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center provides care to victims of domestic and sexual assault, ages 18 and older. Our program strives to provide prompt, compassionate care, and offers support and encouragement as you move toward healing.

You are a survivor

You have survived a confusing, painful and frightening experience. The most important thing for you to understand is that it is not your fault. It is normal to experience feelings of shame, disbelief, fear, humiliation, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, guilt and loss of trust. Counseling and support can help these feelings subside over time.

What to expect during the SANE exam

The exam consists of a medical screening exam, your account of the assault, a head-to-toe exam, a genital exam and forensic evidence collection. Most exams take approximately 90 minutes to complete. However, each case is different so exam times may vary. The SANE will explain everything to you before the exam begins.

The nurse will ask you details of the assault to determine where to look for injury and evidence. Your nurse will write down everything you say.

The nurse will perform a pregnancy test for women and provide medication to prevent sexually transmitted infections. The nurse will look for and treat any injury that may have occurred. You have the right to refuse any part of the exam. Please be aware that if the nurse does not perform certain steps, it may be difficult to prosecute your case in court. Remember, you do not have to agree to any part of the exam that you do not want to have done. A victim’s advocate will be available, with your permission, to provide support as needed.

Benefits of the SANE program:

  • Specially trained nurses
  • Advocacy
  • Confidential forensic exams
  • Testing for drug-facilitated assault
  • Coordination of resources
  • Consistent quality evidence collection
  • Trained for courtroom testimony
  • Specially trained SANE patient advocates to link patients with programs and services

Our commitment to caring

UH Cleveland Medical Center is committed to providing compassionate, patient-centered care. As a member of the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), we work collaboratively with law enforcement, victim advocacy groups and the justice system. These groups include:

  • Local/regional law enforcement
  • Victim advocacy groups
  • FBI
  • Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s office

If you have an emergency or need care following an assault, please call the UH Center for Emergency Medicine at 216-844-3726. If you would like more information about the SANE program, please call 216-844-0372.

To speak to a SANE patient advocate, please call 216-844-3743.


Adult SANE Program
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center
11100 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106
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