Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE Program)
It’s hard to know what to do, how to feel, or what your options are after a sexual assault. The only one of its kind in Harford County, the SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination) Program at UM Harford Memorial Hospital is a free, confidential service available 24/7 to care for male and female victims of sexual assault from ages 13 and older.
Harford Memorial Hospital
501 South Union Avenue
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing what to expect can help you feel more comfortable with the SAFE process. If you are in immediate danger or seriously injured, call 911.
What is a SAFE exam?
A Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) is a confidential way to document injuries and collect evidence of sexual assault.
Where do I go for medical care?
You can go directly to the Emergency Department at University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital (UM HMH) in Havre de Grace, MD, which is the designated treatment center for sexual assault in Harford County.
What is the time window for a SAFE exam?
You have 120 hours (5 days) to receive an exam after the incident.
What should I do before the SAFE exam?
During your exam, the nurse will be trying to collect as much evidence as possible. Please do not do the following before your exam:
- Do not use the restroom
- Do not eat, drink, or brush your teeth
- Do not shower or change your clothes
Do I have to report the assault to the police to have a SAFE exam?
If you were assaulted but do not wish to speak to the police for whatever reason, you may still have a confidential exam done. If you’re under the age of 18, you may also consent to an exam without a parent consent. Evidence is held up to 20 years should you ever want to report at a later time.
Do I have to pay for the sexual assault exam?
No. Sexual assault forensic examinations are free and confidential, covered by the State of Maryland. You will not receive a bill, nor will your insurance company.
Do you offer STD and HIV testing?
We test all of our patients for sexually transmitted diseases except for HIV/AIDS. All sexual assault patients are offered STD treatment during their visit in addition to testing. Patients are referred to the Harford County Health Department for HIV/AIDS testing and initial treatment.
SAFE Program Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners