Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Program
In 2004, SAVI began a state-of-the-art Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Program, and, as of November 2006, the New York State Department of Health designated this program a Center of Excellence. This distinction not only acknowledges the quality of the program but also the tremendous strides SAVI and The Mount Sinai Health System have made together in a relatively short period.
We have worked hard to establish a strong network of professionals and liaisons to ensure a coordinated response that minimizes trauma to sexual assault survivors. SAFE Programs ensure timely, survivor-centered services, which include health evaluation, evidence collection, and expert witness testimony.
Sexual assault examinations require the integration of specialized knowledge of genital anatomy and physiology, human sexual response, common sexual response, common sexual assault injuries, specialized health care treatment, forensic science and criminal justice. This knowledge is not often included in basic education in medical and nursing curricula. SAFEs receive comprehensive training to facilitate best practice medical and psychological care for the treatment of survivors of sexual assault, performed in the context of forensic evidence collection. SAFE Examiners are medical professionals currently licensed as a nurse, doctor, and/or physician assistant.