Conducting The SANE Examination

Because of the unspeakable trauma that children who were sexually abused experienced, evidence must be collected in order to bring their offenders to justice. While the aftermath of such events can be uncomfortable at times and difficult to overcome, there is hope through the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo and Starr Counties (CACHSC).

If a child has endured sexual abuse, a registered nurse, specifically referred to as a Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), delicately guides them through a safe and virtually painless examination that documents the physical, emotional, and behavioral results of child sexual abuse and collects any evidence that may still exist on them.

Compassion and Healing Are Our Focus During This Difficult Time

    In short, a SANE medical evaluation evaluates and treats symptoms of sexual abuse. All examinations are thoroughly and carefully done in a child-friendly environment through a non-invasive, painless physical exam.

    This exam:

    1. Diagnoses any medical conditions (e.g. sexually transmitted infections/diseases) that stem from sexual abuse.
    2. Ensures that the physical and mental health of the child victim is intact.
    3. Helps the examiner collect evidence from the child’s clothing or body (if reported shortly after the abuse).
    4. Documents any evidence found.
    5. Reassures children that nothing is wrong with their bodies.

    A medical examination is conducted at our center within the Medical/Therapy Department and takes about 2 hours to complete. A complete medical history is then gathered from a parent or guardian, so please give the name of the child’s primary care provider so that we can coordinate care accordingly.

    All exam findings are photographed with the use of a DSLR camera or special instrument known as a colposcope. Images are beneficial to interpreting findings in finer detail and allow our examiner to review the evidence without the child having to go through another examination.

    In addition to the physical exam, X-Rays or laboratory tests may be requested to help in the evaluation, and referrals to specialty medical providers and behavioral health therapy can also be scheduled to help the child along in their healing process.