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Emergency Services

If you experienced a sexual assault in the last 120 hours (five days), please go to the Adult Emergency Room at MUSC Health. MUSC Health is the only medical facility in the Tri-county area that can provide emergency services to people who have experienced a sexual assault. 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 Monday through Sunday, 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 see 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 (not plastic) bag and bring them with you.

During the Exam

  • If desired, you will be given medication to prevent pregnancy and potential sexually transmitted infections.
  • If you choose you may have a DNA kit collected by a specialized nurse called a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). 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 handed over to police when completed, and the police will do an interview with you.
  • An anonymous DNA kit can also be collected. If you are unsure if you want to report the crime, 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 this crime to police. At this time, no police report will be made. If you do not report this crime within a year, the kit will be destroyed.
  • A SANE nurse will ensure you do not have any injuries that need be treated.
  • 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 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. Regardless if you choose public or military the kits are still processed by MUSC SANE staff.
  • People Against Rape (PAR) offers you an advocate to be here with you during your SANE exam. The SANE will call the PAR advocate for you. Their role is to be here during this difficult time as a support person. PAR has many resources and information that they can share with you.
  • We are so sorry that you have been through this experience and we are here to help you however we can. Please let us know if there is anything additionally that we can do for you.

You will not be billed to be seen by the SANE, 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 may seek medical attention. You will receive a bill for medical services if you are seen after 120 hours. Please view the Follow-up Services 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 sexual assault nurse examiners office at 843-792-3391.