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SEEKING SUPPORT?
The Alliance has compiled a number of resources available for survivors, their friends and families, and professionals assisting survivors in New York City.

SAFE Services in NYC Today

What is a "SAFE Center of Excellence"?

Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) services are considered the best and most victim-centered approach to acute health care for sexual assault patients. The New York State Department of Health certifies Emergency Departments as SAFE Centers of Excellence.

SAFE Centers provide sexual assault patients with:

1) Sensitive, victim-centered, medical and forensic health care performed by a specially trained Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE). A SAFE is a healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, physician assistant or nurse practitioner.

2) Care that is timely, compassionate, and patient-centered, in a designated and appropriately equipped private room.

3) Assurance about the quality of collection, documentation, preservation and custody of physical evidence by utilizing a trained and New York State Department of Health-certified sexual assault forensic examiner to perform exams. These examiners are available to provide expert testimony if patients choose to report crimes to law enforcement.

2) Psycho-social and legal support by a specially trained Rape Crisis Advocate or Counselor.

3) Reliable referrals to mental and physical health care and follow-up services.

List of New York City SAFE Centers of Excellence.

Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART)

In October 2000, Governor Pataki signed the Sexual Assault Reform Act (SARA) requiring the 24-hour availability of Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs) at hospitals designated as SAFE Centers of Excellence. To actualize this requirement in New York City, the Health and Hospital Corporation (HHC) and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice Center established partnerships called Sexual Assault Response Team (SARTs).

SARTs are composed of rape crisis counselors and specially trained forensic examiners who have undergone intensive training approved by the New York State Department of Health. SART staff are trained to identify, collect and package forensic evidence, accurately document injuries, and attend to the emotional needs of rape victims. SARTs respond within an hour to every sexual assault victim who arrives at a SAFE Center of Excellence in the borough that a particular SART serves. SARTs ensure the 24-hour availability of sexual assault forensic examiners so that rape victims receive prompt and high quality medical, counseling, and forensic services.

For more information on SAFE, contact us at safe@svfreenyc.org.

Saskia Shuman, Kira Laffe, and Laura Fidler at the Denim Day Press Conference
Saskia Shuman, Kira Laffe, and Laura Fidler at the Denim Day Press Conference