Recommendations at a glance for health care providers and other responders to facilitate victim-centered care during the exam process
- Give sexual assault patients priority as emergency cases
- Provide the necessary means to ensure patient privacy
- Adapt the exam process as needed to address the unique needs and circumstances of each patient
- Develop culturally responsive care and be aware of issues commonly faced by victims from specific populations.
- Recognize the importance of victim services within the exam process.
- Accommodate patients’ requests to have a relative, friend, or other personal support person (e.g., religious -and spiritual counselor/advisor/healer) present during the exam, unless considered harmful by responders.
Accommodate patients’ requests for responders of a specific gender throughout the exam as much as
- Prior to starting the exam and conducting each procedure, explain to patients in a language the patients understand what is entailed and its purpose.
- Assess and respect patients’ priorities
- Integrate medical and evidentiary procedures where possible.
- Address patients’ safety during the exam.
- Provide information that is easy for patients to understand, in the patient’s language, and that can be
reviewed at their convenience.
- Address physical comfort needs of patients prior to discharge.
It is critical to respond to individuals disclosing sexual assault in a timely, appropriate, sensitive, and
respectful way.1 Every action taken by responders during the exam process should be useful in facilitating patient care and healing and/or the investigation (if the case was reported).
|Table of Contents||Victim Centered Care (cont)|
1 The chapter was partially built on information from the North Carolina Protocol for Assisting Sexual Assault Victims, 2000.