Tulsa Forensic Nursing Services



Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Online Training

Intimate Partner Violence Online Training



STM Learning's SANE/SAFE Forensic Learning Series: Adolescent and Adult Sexual Assault Assessment is designed to challenge the critical thinking skills of sexual assault examiners responsible for identifying injuries, collecting evidence, and treating patients reporting a history of sexual assault or abuse. They are available for purchase either separately or as a bundle. For a complete description of this resource visit: http://www.stmlearning.com/sane-safe-forensic-learning-series-bundle.html

Nursing Approach to the Evaluation of Child Maltreatment is a guide for medical professionals to identify all physical abuse, sexual abuse, and maltreatment of children.

Though the title focuses on crimes against women, the scope of its information includes the effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) on men, children, and adolescents as well.

Non reports--
Although every sexual assault victim has the right to report the crime, not all choose to do so.  Patients 18 years of age and older, have the option of reporting the incident or not.  Regardless of whether they report the incident, all victims have the right to a medical forensic examination, crisis intervention, counseling, support groups and medical care.  Whatever the circumstances, you did not deserve it, it is not your fault and you do not have to cope alone.

120 hrs for adult and adolescent--
A sexual assault nurse examiner can evaluate an adult or adolescent victim whose assault has occurred within the previous 120 hours (5 days). 

What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity involving a person who does not or cannot (due to alcohol, drugs, or some sort of incapacitation) consent. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, "sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention."  Sexual assault can describe many things, including:

  • rape, including partner and marital rape
  • unwanted sexual contact (touching or grabbing)
  • unwelcome exposure of another's body, exhibitionism, or voyeurism
  • child sexual abuse
  • incest or molestation
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual exploitation of clients by therapists, doctors, dentists, or other professionals

 What to do if you have been sexually assaulted?
  1. Go to a Safe Place

  • After experiencing a traumatic event such as sexual assault, it is important to find a place where you feel comfortable and safe from harm

   2. Call for Assistance

  • DVIS/Call Rape 24 hour crisis line-  918.7.HELP.ME (918-743-5763)
  • Call 911

   3. Seek Medical Attention

  • To check for injuries; you may have injuries that you can't see or feel
  • To prevent sexually transmitted infections
  • To prevent pregnancy
  • To collect evidence (For adults evidence collection does not require you to place a report with the police or press charges; it preserves these options for the future.)

   4. Preserve Evidence
For the purposes of evidence collection, we suggest that you avoid: 

  • drinking
  • eating
  • showering/bathing
  • brushing your teeth
  • combing your hair
  • changing your clothes

If you have done any of these things, evidence can still be collected and it is still important to seek medical attention If you have changed your clothes, take the clothes you were wearing at the time of the assault to the hospital in a paper bag (not a plastic bag). 

How do I know if I've been drugged?

It is often hard to tell. Most victims don't remember being drugged or assaulted. The victim might not be aware of the attack until 8 or 12 hours after it occurred. These drugs also leave the body very quickly. But there are some signs that you might have been drugged:

  • You remember having a drink, but cannot recall anything after that.
  • You feel drunk and haven't drunk any alcohol - or, you feel like the effects of drinking alcohol are stronger than usual.
  • You wake up feeling very hung over and disoriented or having no memory of a period of time.
  • You find that your clothes are not on right or torn.
  • You feel like you had sex, but you cannot remember it. 

Where can I go for help? 

  • Call 911
  • Call DVIS/Call Rape 24 hour crisis line-  918.7.HELP.ME (918-743-5763)
  • Go to a local hospital (Most exams are done in a quiet location within Hillcrest Medical Center) 

How can I help someone who has been sexually assaulted? 

You can help someone who is abused or who has been assaulted by listening and offering comfort. Go with her or him to the police, the hospital, or to counseling. Reinforce the message that she or he is not at fault and that it is natural to feel angry and ashamed. 

How much does it cost?

There is no charge for the forensic medical exam.

Do I have to report it to law enforcement?

Adults over the age 18 are not required to report their assault to law enforcement. 
Emergency Contraceptive

Patients of different ages, social, cultural and religious/spiritual backgrounds may have varying feelings regarding acceptable treatment options for pregnancy prevention.  The various options will be explored in detail at the time of the exam.
Sexually Transmitted Infections

Contracting a sexually transmitted infection is typically a concern of sexual assault patients.  Because of this concern it will be addressed as part of the forensic medical exam.  Testing and treatment will be considered on a case by case basis.  Testing at the time of the initial exam is not typically performed.

When will the results be back?

To give an exact time is virtually impossible but typically takes a few weeks to a few months.  Analysis of the kit is determined by the detective investigating the incident.  The results will be supplied to the detective once the analysis is complete.  Maintaining contact with the investigator is important in assisting with the progression of the case.

How do I find out the investigator in my case?

Contact the law enforcement agency in the city or county where the crime occurred. 

            Sexual assault medical and forensic exams
            Domestic violence exams
            Drug endangered children exams
            Elder abuse and neglect exams

            Convicted offender DNA collection
            Suspect exams 

Sexual assault is defined as any sexual activity involving a person who does not or cannot (due to alcohol, drugs, or some sort of incapacitation) consent 

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, "sexual assault can be verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention." Sexual assault is therefore somewhat of an umbrella term, and can describe many things, including:

  • rape, including partner and marital rape
  • unwanted sexual contact (touching or grabbing)
  • unwelcome exposure of another's body, exhibitionism, or voyeurism
  • child sexual abuse
  • incest or molestation
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual exploitation of clients by therapists, doctors, dentists, or other professionals 

Intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs between two people in a close relationship. The term "intimate partner" includes current and former spouses and dating partners. IPV exists along a continuum from a single episode of violence to ongoing battering.

IPV includes four types of behavior:

  • Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt a partner by hitting, kicking, or other type of physical force.
  • Sexual violence is forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent.
  • Threats of physical or sexual violence include the use of words, gestures, weapons, or other means to communicate the intent to cause harm.
  • Emotional abuse is threatening a partner or his or her possessions or loved ones, or harming a partner's sense of self-worth. Examples are stalking, name-calling, intimidation, or not letting a partner see friends and family.

    Often, IPV starts with emotional abuse. This behavior can progress to physical or sexual assault. Several types of IPV may occur together.


Strangulation is not new however the realization of how dangerous and the knowledge about long term consequences is.  Strangulation also frequently referred to as choking is a form of asphyxia in which the blood supply into and out of the brain is impaired. Anyone that has experienced strangulation should contact the nearest emergency department if they experience any of the following  symptoms:  

  •  Loss of Consciousness
  • Trouble seeing, "flashing lights", "spots", "tunnel vision"
  • Pinpoint red spots in/on eyes, face or mouth
  • Cord or rope burns on neck
  • Neck pain, tenderness or swelling
  • Loss of bladder control, "wet yourself"
  • Trouble breathing, can't lie flat
  • Mental changes, seizures
  • Severe headache, numbness or weakness on one side of the body
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Trouble talking or understanding what people are saying 

Most people do not have observable signs of strangulation. HOWEVER, these other symptoms can indicate very serious injury inside the neck and head.

Who should you see after being checked at the hospital or if you think you have no symptoms?



600 Civic Center, Suite 103 Downtown Tulsa 918.742.7480

Monday - Friday

8:00am to 4:00pm


  • At the Family Safety Center there is no cost for any service.
  • If you don't have insurance, you are likely eligible for Victim Compensation Assistance. This will aid in the payment of emergency and hospital care.
  • For transportation needs to the Family Safety Center, call 918.742.7480 and request the Client Navigator at extension 137 or the Office Administrator at extension 105. 




600 Civic Center, Suite 103 Downtown Tulsa


Monday- Friday

8:00am to 4:00pm

For more information:

Ann Patterson Dooley Family Safety Center

Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault


Sexual Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation (within national or across international borders) transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.  Sexual trafficking is accomplished by means of fraud, deception, threat of or use of force, abuse of a position of vulnerability, and other forms of coercion.

Trafficking of persons exists in two distinct types: labor trafficking and sexual trafficking. Worldwide, it is estimated that somewhere between 700,000 and four million women, children and men are trafficked each year, and no region is unaffected.  An estimated 14,500 to 17,500 women and children are trafficked into this country each year. There have been reports of trafficking instances in at least 20 different states, with most cases occurring in New York, California, and Florida. 

For more information:

Oklahoman's Against Trafficking Humans

National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) http://nhtrc.polarisproject.org 

National Trafficking Tip Line:  (888) 373-7888 

Elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. The specificity of laws varies from state to state, but broadly defined, abuse may be:

  • Physical Abuse - Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on a vulnerable elder, or depriving them of a basic need.
  • Emotional Abuse - Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts.
  • Sexual Abuse - Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  • Exploitation - Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder.
  • Neglect - Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for a vulnerable elder.
  • Abandonment - The desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person. 

In the United States, the issue of elder mistreatment is garnering the attention of the law enforcement, medical, and research communities as more people are living longer than ever before. This trend is expected to increase, as the U.S. Census Bureau projects that more than 62 million Americans will be age 65 or older in 2025, an increase of 78 percent from 2001, and more than 7.4 million will be age 85 or older, an increase of nearly 68 percent from 2001. This aging population will require more care and protection than is currently available or possible.

The National Research Council defines elder abuse and mistreatment as (a) intentional actions that cause harm or create a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable elder by a caregiver or other person who stands in a trust relationship to the elder, or (b) failure by a caregiver to satisfy the elder's basic needs or to protect the elder from harm.  This definition includes financial exploitation of the elderly as well as physical abuse or neglect.

For more information:

Oklahoma Department of Human Services, http://www.okdhs.org/programsandservices/aps/apsdefault.htm

Statewide Abuse Hotline: 1-800-522-3511 

National Center on Elder Abuse, http://www.ncea.aoa.gov 

Tribal Law and Policy Institute
You will find a wealth of information at this website for anyone caring for American Indian victims of sexual assault and Interpersonal violence.  http://www.tribal-institute.org/    

Tulsa's Forensic Nursing Program is a community partner within the Tulsa Institute for Trauma, Abuse and Neglect (TITAN) which is an interdisciplinary institute committed to evidence-based education, scholarship, research, and service that reduce the incidence and impact of trauma and adversity.



U.S. Department of Justice Award for Public Service 1994
Innovations in State and Local Government from the Ford Foundation and John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University 1994

NOVA (National Organization of Victim Assistance) Distinguished Service to Victims of Crime 1995

Recognized again in 2002 by the Innovations in Government for continued efforts



Kathy Bell MS, RN
Forensic Nursing Administrator
Tulsa Police Department
600 Civic Center
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103


» Tulsa Forensic Nursing Services

Quick Links

Mayor's Action Center