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Emergency Services Following Sexual Assault

If you experienced rape in the last 120 hours (five days), please go to the Adult Emergency Room at MUSC Health.

We are sorry that you had to go through this experience, and we are here to help you however we can. 

MUSC Health is the only medical facility in the Tri-county area that can provide emergency services to people who have experienced rape. These services are free, and can be anonymous if you wish. A specialized nurse called a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will conduct the exam. 

Exams are available 24 hours per day. 7 days a week, every day including holidays.

Before the Exam

After the assault or rape, please do not eat or drink, avoid showering, bathing, douching, swimming and gargling. Don’t use the bathroom, or change your clothes until you have seen the SANE nurse. If you must use the bathroom, please “drip-dry,”- do not wipe. If you must change your clothing, please place them in a paper bag (not a plastic bag) and bring them with you.

During a Sexual Assault Exam

  • A SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse will ensure you do not have any injuries that need to be treated.
  • If desired, you will be given medication to prevent pregnancy and potential sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you choose to report to the police, you may have a DNA kit collected by the SANE nurse. The purpose of the kit is to collect DNA and have any injuries photographed and documented to be used as evidence when prosecuting your assailant. The kit will be transferred to the police when completed, and the police will do an interview with you. 
  • If you are not sure if you want to report your sexual assault to the police, an anonymous DNA kit can also be collected. You may have the evidence collected anonymously now, and it will be stored for up to one year. During this time, you can decide whether to report the crime to the police. No police report will be made unless you decide to. Please know that if you do not report this crime within one year, the kit containing evidence of the crime will be destroyed. 
  • If you wish not to have any evidence collected, you may still obtain medications to prevent pregnancy and potential sexually transmitted infections. 
  • If you or the assailant are in the military, you have additional options. We will call to have a military advocate available to explain all of your options in detail. We advise that you speak to an advocate before you make any decisions on how, or if, you wish to report the assault. You may have the option to choose between a military kit and a public kit. Both choices are processed by MUSC SANE staff. 
  • Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S is our local rape crisis center. They may offer you an advocate to be here with you during your exam. The SANE team will call the Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S. advocate for you. The role of the advocate is to support you and help you during this difficult time. Tri-County S.P.E.A.K.S. has many resources and information that they can share with you.

You will not be billed to be seen by the SANE team, for DNA evidence collection, photographs, and medications for pregnancy prevention or STI prevention.

If it has been more than 120 hours since the assault, it is too late to collect DNA evidence. You may still report this crime to the police. You can still seek medical attention. You will receive a bill for medical services if you are seen after 120 hours. Please view the Options After Sexual Assault web page to learn more about your options.

You do not ever have to report this crime to police if you do not want to.

For more specific questions related to the exam, call the SANE office at 843-792-3391.