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Services provided by the Forensic Nurse Examiner program include:

  • Comprehensive medical legal examination with collection of forensic evidence to all *acute victims of sexual assault. 

  • Follow-up examinations to further document and evaluate injuries received during the assault. 

  • Access to a FNE at all times to answer health-related questions pertaining to a sexual assault.


           *Acute is defined as up to 72 hours after the sexual assault, unless an exam is requested by the Investigating officer 



The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) program is a multi-disciplinary investigative team composed of: 

  • Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) 

  • Law Enforcement Investigator 

  • Advocate Rape Response

The multi-disciplinary approach consists of teamwork dedicated to delivering justice to all victims of sexual assault. 

     SART and Forensic Nurse Examiner programs were first developed in the 1970s to eliminate repetitive and unnecessary questioning and delays in the treatment of sexual assault victims in local emergency departments. Often the victim would endure long waits and interrupted examinations when emergency room doctors and nurses were called away to treat people who arrived with more critical injuries. And since doctors and nurses are trained to keep people alive rather than gather information for criminal proceedings, important medical evidence was often unavailable to prosecutors trying to put rapists in jail. 

The SART/FNE programs were developed to:

  • Increase sensitivity and specialization in care of sexual assault victims 

  • Improve quality of forensic evidence collection

  • Location of Examination

The FNE Program is available to provide examinations for victims of sexual assault who have been seriously injured or who have minimal injuries. For those who have serious injuries and require medical care by a physician, a sexual assault exam will be provided by a FNE at any hospital facility in Madison and Jackson County. 

For those who have minimal injuries and for all follow-up examinations, a private confidential exam room is provided at CSNA in Madison and Jackson County. Directions will be provided by your local law enforcement agency, or by calling the HELPLine at 256-716-1000. 

Who pays for the Sexual Assault examination?

The Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund will pay for the rape kit examination. If the exam is done at the hospital, the bill will be submitted for third party reimbursement via health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. In this case, unpaid portions will be submitted to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund. 

The SART/FNE Program Medical Director maintains quality of care for each client and provides examination standing orders. 

For information regarding the SART/FNE program, contact: 

FNE Program Manager

How to Obtain Help:

In Madison or Limestone County: (256)-716-1000
In Jackson County: 1-800-691-8426 

If you or someone close to you is raped, sexually assaulted, stalked, or experiencing sexual harassment, the HELPline Rape Response program offers support, information, assistance in seeking victims compensation, and a place to express the hurt, fear, and betrayal that sexual abuse causes to the victim.


Here are some ways we will help you get through your distress:

  • Our Rape Response Coordinator and advocates respond to concerns about sexual assault, whether it is recent or in the past, whether the person wishes to prosecute or not, and whether the person seeking help is the victim, a family member, or someone close to the victim.

  • Our advocate will be there for you at the time you make your police report and undergo the rape exam.

  • Our advocate will speak with any family member or friend accompanying you and help them to understand some of the ways this experience may affect you.

  • Our advocate will provide you an information packet to answer many questions you may have about the legal process, medical issues, and your feelings after a sexual assault.

  • Our Rape Response Coordinator will be available to meet with you and/or your family or persons close to you to discuss your concerns


"Until I called this agency, I never knew there were people who would care so much about a total stranger." Words of a rape victim.