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  • Louisiana law RS 13:5713(F) states “ The coroner or his designee shall examine all alleged victims of a sexually-oriented criminal offense. The coroner may select the hospital or healthcare provider named as the lead entity for sexual assault examinations in the regional plan required by R.S. 40:1300.41 as his designee to perform the forensic medical examination”.

  • Recognizing that sexual assault may be one component of a violent crime, it is imperative that the victim first seek emergency medical care for any injuries through a hospital-based Emergency Department.

  • In 2015 Act 229 established regional Sexual Assault Response plans. The St. Tammany Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) team has been designated the lead entity for DHH Region 9 which includes St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Helena Parishes.





  • Get to a place where you feel safe
  • Preserve evidence of the assault - Avoid washing, smoking, using the restroom, changing your clothes, eating or drinking, brushing your teeth, or cleaning up the area where the sexual assault occurred. You may still have an exam even if you have done these things & we often still find evidence up to 96 hours after an assault.

  • Go the Emergency Department - A SANE from St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office can be requested 24/7 from any hospital in St. Tammany Parish, as well as most other hospitals in our region. Survivors of sexual assault can receive medical treatment & have forensic evidence collected at no charge.


Hospitals where we provide Sexual Assault Exams:


  • Lakeview Regional Medical Center

  • Ochsner Northshore Medical Center

  • Slidell Memorial Hospital

  • St. Tammany Parish Hospital - Covington

  • St. Tammany Parish Hospital - Mandeville

  • Hood Memorial - Amite

  • Lallie Kemp - Independence

  • Our Lady of the Angels - Bogalusa

  • Our Lady of the Lake, Livingston - Walker

  • Riverside Medical Center - Franklinton

  • St. Helena Parish Hospital - Greensburg


  • Bring a change of clothing if possible. Law enforcement may ask to use the clothes you are wearing as evidence. We can also provide clothing.

  • Call 911 if you want police involvement. If you are unsure, you can have evidence collected & held for at least 1 year. SANEs can call the police for you if you choose, but reporting is not required for evidence collection or treatment. Cases involving minors (under age 18) or vulnerable adults (elderly or disabled) are required to be reported by state law.


What is Sexual Assault?


Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual contact. It includes forced or coerced vaginal, oral, penile, and/or anal penetration or sexual touching. It can happen to anyone. The perpetrator of these crimes can be someone you know or a stranger. Whatever the case, a person who is sexually assaulted is never to blame.


What is a Forensic Nurse or SANE?


A Forensic Nurse is a Registered Nurse who provides specialized care for patients who have experienced trauma. A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a Registered Nurse who has specialized training in the care and treatment of patients who have been sexually assaulted. The SANE provides one-on-one compassionate, confidential, expert care at the hospital. Additionally, they offer support with notifying the authorities if you decide to report, & expert testimony, should the case go to court. SANEs with the STPCO Forensic Nursing Program do not work for the hospital or law enforcement agency.


Who qualifies for a SANE or Forensic Exam?


Anyone can have a SANE exam through our program regardless of their gender, location of the crime, where they live, or if there is police involvement as long as the assault happened within 96 hours (4 days). After this timeframe, evidence is no longer present. If the victim is under age 17, they will be sent to Children’s Hospital of New Orleans or the Audrey Hepburn CARE center for the exam. Translation services are available.


What will happen at the hospital?


After you are checked into the hospital and evaluated by the Emergency Department staff, they will call our 24/7 hotline to request the on-call SANE. The SANE will provide the exam at your desired pace in a safe and private room. During this exam the SANE will:


  • Obtain & document a medical history

  • Collect & document any evidence

  • Collaborate with hospital staff to ensure you are provided with medications to prevent pregnancy & many sexually transmitted infections

  • Evaluate for injuries &  illnesses

  • Connect you to a free, confidential Medical Advocate who ensures your needs are met

  • Offer a change of clothing, toiletries, & other comfort items

  • Give referrals for follow-up care including counseling & medical treatment


Do I have to report to the police?


Not unless we are required by Mandatory Reporting Laws, which only include survivors under 18 years of age or Disabled/Elderly Adults. If you are unsure about reporting, we suggest you have an unreported kit collected and receive medical treatment. Your kit will be labeled anonymously and held for at least a year so you have time to make a decision.


Do I have to pay for the SANE exam?


No. You should not be charged for any part of the hospital visit for a SANE exam, including co-pays or deductibles. Submitting insurance is optional. We will assist the hospital with getting your exam reimbursed through a confidential program called Crime Victim Reparations.


What should I do if I was sexually assaulted more than 96 hours (4 days) ago?


  • After this timeframe, evidence is no longer available for collection, but we still suggest you get medical treatment through your physician or any other medical provider. We also recommend connecting with any of the local Sexual Assault Advocacy organizations for free, confidential counseling and information on your legal options and any other needs. Children under age 18 will be referred to the Audrey Hepburn CARE Center for evaluation, who will contact a caregiver to set up an Offer information about legal & medical options

  • appointment at either their New Orleans or Covington locations

  • How do I get the results of the DNA testing or Toxicology (when applicable)?

  • By law, DNA labs can only release these results to a law enforcement agent, so we do not get them. If you reported to police, you should contact the detective assigned to your case. If you have not reported, your PERK (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit) for DNA & Toxicology Kit will not be tested. You have at least one year to decide about reporting before the evidence is destroyed. If you have any trouble getting in touch with your Detective or need assistance after your exam, contact a Sexual Assault Advocacy Organization such as STAR, Metro, or Adapt for assistance.


You may accept or decline any parts of the exam or suggested treatment. We are here to empower you to make choices about your care, but will never force you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Nothing about the exam should be painful.




STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response)

24/7 Hotline: (855) 435-STAR (7827)



Metro Centers for Community Advocacy

24/7 Hotline: (504) 837-5400



Adapt Inc.

Washington Parish

24/7 Hotline: (985) 732-4961


New Orleans Family Justice Center

Orleans Parish

24/7 Hotline: (504) 837-5400




Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault

(888) 995-7273




Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network


24/7 Hotline: (800) 656-HOPE (4673)



 211 or VIALINK

VIA LINK provides 24/7 information, referrals, & crisis counselling for all people & organizations in Southeast Louisiana who need help locating resources, information, & services or just needs to talk.

Phone: 2-1-1 or (504) 269-2673

Teen Textline: (504) 777-EASE (3272)

Crisis Chat also available at website.




If you are having an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Department