The Sexual Assault Reform Act, enacted in FY 2000, significantly expanded the Department of Health's role in addressing sexual assault. Upon the request of a qualifying hospital, the Department of Health may designate that hospital as having an approved Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program. Such hospital program shall meet the standards for treatment of sexual assault victims and maintenance of sexual offense evidence and shall make available to survivors, on a 24-hour per day basis, specially trained Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners. Such programs (may also be referred to as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and Sexual Assault Examiner (SAE) programs) are comprehensive by providing medical care and forensic examinations in a private setting; provide specialized standards of medical care and evidence collection; and coordinate an interdisciplinary collaborative effort involving a hospital-based SAFE program, a rape crisis center, law enforcement, the prosecutor's office and other appropriate service agencies to provide a coordinated response that can effectively meet the needs of the survivor as well as improve the overall community response to sexual assault.
For more information on New York's SAFE program, please visit http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/safe/application.htm.