HOspital Response team
The Rape Recovery Center’s Hospital Response Team was developed to provide victims of sexual violence advocacy support at all times, at any hospital in Salt Lake County or the Family Justice Center following a sexual assault.
Within five days of an assault a victim of sexual assault has the option to have a “code-r” examination performed. Alternatively, any victim of sexual assault has the right to decline the collection of forensic evidence but still seek medical attention following a sexual assault. In either case, a specialized forensic nurse, known as a Wasatch Forensic Nurse (WFN) will be dispatched to perform the exam and offer medication that prevents both pregnancy and certain sexually transmitted infections.
When a victim of sexual assault arrives to the emergency room, the hospital personnel will call Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner who will then dispatch an advocate from our agency. The Hospital Response Team staff will respond to the hospital within 30 minutes. The advocates on the this team are certified crisis counselors and hold legal confidentiality*.
The Hospital Response Team advocates remain with the victim before, during, and after the medical interview and examination to explain procedures, answer questions, and advocate for the victim. The Hospital Response Team staff can also act as a liaison between medical staff, law enforcement, and/or any of the victim’s family or friends who may be present at the hospital. Additionally, the Hospital Response Team staff may be able to assist with logistical or other advocacy concerns pertaining to the victim’s return to a safe place following the code-r.
In all cases involving victims 13 years of age or younger, services are offered through Primary Children’s Medical Center and their Center for Safe and Healthy Families. If you have any questions concerning the forensic exam or hospital response team please contact us through our crisis line at (801) 467-7273.
*Although these advocates are Confidential Communicators through the Confidential Communications Act (78-3c) of 1994, they are still subject to mandatory reporting laws. Mandatory reporting laws usually affect those younger than 18 years of age and those older than 65 and individuals with certain disabilities.