At the SAFE Center
Sexual assault survivors face many decisions in the hours, days, months or even years after an assault. However, the decisions that are made at the time of assault are critical to providing the survivor with options they may want in the future. These options include a forensic examination. For someone who has experienced sexual assault, just knowing there are options can be the difference between feeling like a victim and being a survivor.
At the Tuscaloosa SAFE Center, we are available at all times of the day or night to assist those who have experienced the horrific crime of sexual assault. We are the first step toward the healing journey.
If you have experienced sexual assault and you need immediate medical attention because of significant bleeding, broken bones or if you are pregnant, go directly to the hospital. If you are medically stable, call our hotline at 205-860-SAFE (7233), and a nurse will meet you at the SAFE Center within one hour.
It is important that you NOT bathe/shower, brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, brush your hair, change your clothes or eat or drink anything. This will preserve the evidence that will be needed for your forensic exam. If you have showered or changed clothes, be sure to bring the clothes you were wearing during the assault with you to the SAFE Center. Put the clothes in a clean paper (shopping) bag. If you do not have a paper bag, you can put them in a plastic bag, but give them to the nurse immediately upon arrival so that your clothes can be placed in a paper bag to preserve the evidence.
The nurse and an advocate will discuss the options that are available to you. While it is our hope that you will seek justice through the court systems, that is a personal choice only you can make. Our SANEs and advocates are there to help you maneuver through the options.