If a victim of sexual assault or interpersonal violence (IPV) with strangulation seeks medical attention or treatment at a Bucks County hospital, a medical-forensic exam is conducted by a Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) who is specially trained to care for individuals who have experienced these victimizations. The purpose of the exam is to provide the victim with the medical care they need; including assessing for injury with emergency medical consultation, providing post-exposure prophylactic treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), screening for pregnancy, and obtaining forensic evidence. The medical-forensic exam is free for sexual assault victims, and a victim of sexual assault does not need to report the assault to the police to have an exam.
Support in the Emergency Room
A NOVA staff person or a trained volunteer will be available to accompany survivors of sexual assault and/or IPV to the Emergency Room in five hospitals in Bucks County (Grandview Hospital, Doylestown Hospital, Jefferson Bucks, St. Mary Medical Center, and Lower Bucks Hospital). Emergency room advocates will provide accompaniment, emotional support, information and referral services. It is the sexual assault survivor’s choice to accept or decline this service.
Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE)
The FNE offers survivors prompt, compassionate care and a comprehensive medical-forensic exam.
Bucks County FNEs are on call 24-hours a day.
During the course of the exam, FNEs:
- Obtain information about the survivor’s pertinent health history and the crime.
- Assess the need for counseling and crisis referrals.
- Perform a physical examination to inspect and evaluate the body of the survivor (not a routine physical exam) including collecting urine and blood for analysis as needed.
- Treat and/or refer the victim for further medical treatment as needed.
- Provide the victim with medications for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and other care needed as a result of the crime as needed.
- Provide the victim with referrals for ongoing medical and psychological care and support.
For more information about Bucks County’s Forensic Nurse Examiner programs, contact NOVA at 215-343-6543.