Forensic Examiner Program
Support for victims of sexual assault and crime
If you’ve been the victim of sexual assault or crime, you’re not alone. The CMH Forensic Examiner Program is a DOH designated 24-hour Center of Excellence and is made up of health care professionals who have undergone specialized forensic training, coordinate efforts with law enforcement, healthcare, and sexual assault/crime victim professionals. Open since 2005, the program provides immediate, dignified, and compassionate treatment for the victim/survivor, while ensuring timely, accurate collection of forensic evidence. We are dedicated to creating a supportive, caring environment for victims/survivors and their families to enhance the healing process.
What happened to you or your loved one was not your/their fault, and you do not have to go through it alone. We are here to help you. Our services are confidential, available 24 hours a day – 7 days a week and are provided to females and males, both children and adults, without regard to race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or physical ability.
What is a SAFE?
- Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs) are specially trained and certified professionals skilled in performing quality forensic medical-legal exams. Should a case go to trial, the SAFEs are then available to testify.
- A SAFE can be a nurse, NP, PA, or MD that has been specially trained to perform forensic medical-legal exams.
- SAFEs are on-call and available 24/7 by beeper. They respond within 60 minutes to the Emergency Department ready to care for the victim of sexual assault
- SAFEs will document the account of the assault, perform necessary medical exams, testing and treatment, then collect crucial, time sensitive evidence using the NYS Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit.
- A forensic exam performed by a SAFE can take up to 6 hours from beginning to discharge of the patient.
- SAFEs provide medical care to survivors without interruption, therefore maintaining the chain of evidence from the exam.
- SAFEs perform exams with state of the art forensic equipment and supplies and are kept up to date with the latest in forensic science developments.
- SAFEs receive expert training, supervision, and quality assurance monitoring.
- SAFEs provide preventative treatment for HIV, STDs, and pregnancy.
- SAFE enhances public safety through increased prosecution of rapists as a result of the forensic exam performed.
- SAFEs reduce the impact of trauma on sexual assault victims.
- SAFEs help reduce violence through providing community prevention education.
Information and Referrals
Prevention information is available to help reduce victimization, and referrals for services not provided by our program can be made to assist you.
SAFEs are available as speakers for presentations on various topics. If interested, please call 518-697-5437 and we will return your call on the next business day to accommodate your request.
Advocates are available 24/7 through the Reach Center’s Crime Victims Assistance Program. Advocates are available to meet with you at the hospital to provide emotional support and information about procedures. We make the call for you when you arrive upon your approval.
Get the FACTS about assault and sexual crimes at RAINN.org