What is JCSART?

The Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team (JCSART) is a coalition of sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), emergency room staff, rape victim advocates, law enforcement officers and prosecuting attorneys developed to coordinate the community’s response to sexual assault.  JCSART’s goal is to meet the needs of sexual assault victims as they progress through the health care and criminal justice systems.

The trauma of sexual assault can leave survivors with physical, emotional, and psychological wounds. Each survivor will recover from trauma in their own way.  

A medical forensic exam is the first step in the healing process and can provide you with assistance and resources going forward.

If you are in need of a medical forensic exam, go to the emergency room at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) on campus or Mercy Iowa City. You can also call the Rape Crisis Line at 319-335-6000.

A medical forensic exam is performed by a sexual assault nurse examiner, also called a SANE. SANEs are nurses who provide victims with immediate, compassionate, trauma informed, culturally sensitive, and gender inclusive care after an assault. These nurses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at UIHC on campus or Mercy Iowa City. There is no charge for the exam.

A medical forensic exam after a sexual assault can encompass both medical care as well as forensic evidence collection depending on what the patient wants It is always the patient’s choice to participate in as much or as little of the process as they choose. At any time, the patient can withdraw consent, take a break, or end the exam.

Medical forensic exams may include:

  • Head to toe exam to assess and treat injuries.
  • Medications to treat/prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. (up to 120 hours)
  • Forensic photography to document injuries
  • Forensic evidence collection. (up to 120 hours)

Exams are free and can be done for up to 14 days after an assault, however the options available may be limited as time passes. In Iowa, forensic evidence can be collected for up to 120 hours (5 days) after an assault. 

An advocate from RVAP will be present for the exam as well. The SANE and advocate will provide patients with resources that may help them after the exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of an exam?

There is no charge for a sexual assault medical forensic exam or for any medications prescribed. The hospital will not collect your insurance information for the exam.

Am I required to report to law enforcement?

No. Once evidence has been collected it can be stored until you decide whether or not you would like to make a report.

Do I have to participate in all parts of the exam?

No. You can participate in as much or as little of the exam as you choose. The SANE will provide you with information regarding each step of the exam and allow you to consent or decline. You can withdraw your consent, take a break, or end the exam at any time if you choose.

What if I already showered/bathed/brushed my teeth/etc?

That’s alright! Evidence has been found on patients even after multiple showers. The SANE nurse will still make every effort to collect evidence if you choose to have a forensic evidence kit collected.