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Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Program

If you or someone you know was sexually assaulted, the Office of Victim Services (OVS) Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) Program can help.

The SAFE Program has caring sexual assault forensic examiners, called SAFEs, who work closely with:

  • Emergency room nurses and doctors to give medical care;
  • Sexual assault victim advocates to give emotional support, information and referrals;
  • The police and prosecutor by collecting physical evidence that may be used in the police investigation and criminal court, if the victim decides to report the crime.
To be eligible for SAFE Program services, victims of sexual assault must:
  • be 13 years of age or older;
  • give permission (informed consent) for a forensic exam and evidence collection; and
  • go to the emergency room at a participating health care facility within 120 hours of the sexual assault.
You do not have to report the crime to police to receive SAFE Program services. If you decide to have the exam and evidence collection done, it will be stored at the Connecticut State Forensic Lab anonymously, which means that there will not be any personal information that identifies you.
Participating Health Care Facilities:
SAFE Program services are free, confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By law, you cannot receive a bill for the sexual assault forensic exam and evidence collection, even if you go to a non-participating health care facility. If you or your insurance company receives a bill from the hospital for the sexual assault forensic examination services, please call OVS at 1-800-822-8428. OVS receives state funding to reimburse health care facilities for sexual assault forensic examinations and will contact the health care facility to pay the bill.

The SAFE Program was named after the late Gail Burns-Smith, who advocated for rights and services for victims of sexual assault and abuse.
You or your insurance company will be responsible to pay for the treatment of other injuries (for example, x-rays, stitches). The Victim Compensation Program may be able to help you pay for these costs if they are not covered by insurance or another financial resource. Please call 1-888-286-7347 for more information.