Thursday, January 18, 2018

Domestic and Sexual Violence Services expands SANE transport to Stillwater County

Imagine you or someone close to you just experienced a violent trauma, such as sexual assault.
You need to seek medical care, but you aren’t sure if you’re ready to report this incident to the police. Maybe you know your attacker.
Maybe you’re embarrassed or in pain. Local medical facilities can help ease your most severe and urgent pain, but cannot provide any specialty sexual assault services such as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE) where forensic evidence can be collected.
The closest facility to Stillwater County is at the Billings Clinic. What’s your next step?
Call Tri-County Victim Witness 24/7 Helpline at (406)321-4333.
In May, Domestic and Sexual Violence Services (DSVS) finalized a partnership with Columbus Fire Rescue and the Tri-County Victim Witness Program to provide free transportation for survivors to travel to Billings Clinic for SANE exams and other medical care.
Transport is free and confidential. Survivors will ride with qualified personnel from Columbus Fire Rescue and a trained advocate, who can guide them through the SANE process and other vital services. Anyone in Stillwater County can receive transport—just call (406)321-4333.
A Few Important FAQs
When can a SANE exam be performed?
Within 96 hours of an assault. Not sure if you are interested in a SANE exam? Call us — we can talk to you about your options.
Are the police notified? Not unless you would like them to be (so long as you are 18 and over).
What happens when I call the helpline? A confidential advocate will help you assess your immediate safety needs and provide guidance and resources specific to your situation.
What happens during the exam? A highly trained, skilled, and empathetic nurse provides a physical examination. The nurse will check to see if the survivor needs medical care – everything from bruises and scrapes to serious injuries, to tests and prevention for pregnancy and STDs.
Will I be charged for the exam? You will not be charged for the SANE exam or transport. If you have other injuries that need to be treated, you may be charged. Crime Victim Compensation is available to cover such costs if the assault is reported. You may speak with an advocate to assess your options.
Please help us raise awareness of this vital service. Together we can prevent and alleviate violence.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call the free 24-hour helpline at (406)321-4333.
Learn more about the sponsoring organization DSVS at www.dsvsmontana.org or the Tri-County Victim Witness Program at https://www.facebook.com/victimwitness32/?fref=ts.
For more information on SANE exams, visit https://dojmt.gov/agooffice/sexual-assault-evidence-task-force/.
From the Tri-County Victim/Witness Office and DSVS