Sexual Assault Response

KHA is committed to helping the commonwealth's hospitals serve the needs of their communities at all times, especially when people need them the most. Every acute care hospital providing emergency services is required by Kentucky law to respond to patients presenting as a victim of sexual assault by (1) providing an examination by an appropriate medical professional, (2) collecting evidence of the assault with consent of the patient, (3) reporting the event and transfering evidence to law enforcement with consent of the patient, (3) providing prophylaxis and treatment against sexually transmitted diseases and (4) notifying the rape crisis center. Hospitals across the state are working to better serve victims of sexual assault at any hour of the day.

The resources to the left will help hospitals meet the regulatory requirements every hospital emergency department must follow in Kentucky. There are also resources to guide hospitals in obtaining certification as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)-ready facilities. A SANE is a registered nurse with advanced training in the forensic examination of sexual assault victims and is credentialed by the Board of Nursing. Hospitals can be designated as SANE-ready facilities after successfully demonstrating readiness to provide round-the-clock response for sexual assault victims. Hospitals must care for patients who are victims of sexual assault and collect evidence (with patient consent) regardless of the availability of a SANE nurse at the hospital and regardless if the hospital is designated as SANE-ready.


Sexual Assault Response Hospital Training Video

This video was created by the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP).

Kentucky SANE Training Events

SANE-Ready Hospital: What it Means and How to Achieve It - Webinar


KHA Resources

SANE-Ready Hospital Guide - KHA created this booklet for hospitals to learn how and why they should become designated as a SANE-ready facility.
Sexual Assault Treatment Poster - KHA provides this poster for hospitals across the state, which details the hospital requirements for treatment of victims of sexual assault. Download the PDF, or contact Deb Campbell at KHA ([email protected]) for a professionally printed and laminated copy for your facility.

Hospital Guides

Hospital/Community Facility Procedural Guidelines

Emergency Department Responsibilities Checklist

Laws and Regulations

502 KAR 12:010 - Sexual Assault Forensic-Medical Examination Protocol, first passed 1999, amended 2011 (NOTE: timeframe for destruction of samples not consistent with 2016 law, the statute takes precedence)

2016 KRS 216b.400 (Updated in 2016) - Requires hospitals that offer emergency services to have a physician or other qualified medical professional, available on call 24 hours a day for the examination of victims of sexual offenses. Requires the examination to be performed under a statewide medical forensic protocol to include basic treatment, sample gathering and lab tests as appropriate. Payment is to be made by the Crime Victim’s Compensation Board and the victim cannot be billed for the sexual assault examination by the hospital, physician, or other qualified medical professional. Samples collected where the victim does not immediately report to law enforcement may be destroyed after 1 year elapses.

Regulation on hospital examination services (1990) - Requires development of procedures for 24-hour on-call responsibility of medical staff and gathering and handling of physical evidence in accordance with the procedures of the Kentucky State Police Central Crime Laboratory (see regulation on sexual assault forensic-medical examination protocol). 502 KAR 012.010

Law requiring hospitals to treat child sexual abuse victims, 1992

KBN law - Creates a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program through administrative regulations, 1996; amended in 2002

KBN regulation on Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program - Standards and credential requirements

Law establishing the Crime Victim’s Compensation Fund (1982) - Fund pays for sexual assault examinations performed by hospitals

Regulations of the Kentucky Claims Commission - Establishes a payment schedule for sexual assault examinations, amended 2011.

SANE-Ready Hospital Designation

Designation of SANE-ready hospitals - A voluntary process for hospitals, but does not eliminate a hospital’s requirement to perform a sexual assault examination


OIG List of SANE-Ready Hospitals in Kentucky - This page from the Kentucky Office of the Inspector General (OIG) contains links for lists of health care facilities, including those with the SANE-Ready designation. This list is only updated annually; thus, it may be out of date depending upon the date you access it.