Emergency Department

202 S. Park St.
Madison, WI 53715

1 hr 19 min Average

Resources & FAQ | Sexual Assault 

Was this sexual assault? 

My friend didn't want to have sex, but she didn't fight back or yell.

Sexual assault is when someone has sex with you when you don't want to. It's common to "freeze" and not fight or yell. It's also common not to have injuries after an assault. If you are impaired from drugs or alcohol and don't say yes, it's sexual assault – even if you can't remember the details.

She knows him and he's a really nice guy, but she said no.

If you didn't consent, there's no excuse for the other person to continue. The vast majority of sexual assaults occur by someone we know.

Forensic Nurse Examiners Can Help

The Forensic Nurse Examiner Program care team is located within the Emergency Department at UnityPoint Health – Meriter and available 24/7. We realize this can be a frightening time, so nurses are ready to provide compassionate care regardless of when the assault occurred.

Will forensic nurses call my parents, Dean of Students or the police?

No. Forensic nurses will not contact anyone without your consent. Program funding covers the cost of SANE exams so insurance is not needed. Forensic nurses will provide medical care even if you don't report the crime.

Will I receive care if I know who sexually assaulted me?

Yes. Many of the assault victims forensic nurses see (approx. 400/year) know their perpetrator. It is your decision whether or not to tell the nurse the person's name.

Will I receive care if I was drinking and can't remember what happened?

Yes. Many patients have a limited or no memory of the assault. Alcohol and other drugs can make it difficult to recall the details. Some students say, "Something just doesn't feel right" or "I feel like someone had sex with me."

Forensic Nurse Examiners Program staff will not call the police if you were drinking and/or underage. Nurses will provide medical care even if you can't recall the details.

How can you help? 

Don't question your friend's actions.

Being assaulted is never your fault or your friend's fault.

Be supportive.

Your support can have a positive impact on your friend's recovery.

How can we help? 

  • Forensic Nurse Examiners Program care team at UnityPoint Health – Meriter, (608) 417-5916
  • University Health Services: Medical and Mental Health Services, (608) 265-5600
  • Rape Crisis Center 24-hour Hotline, (608) 251-7273
  • Student Assistance and Judicial Affairs, (608) 263-5700