Medical Forensic Exams

Medical Forensic Exams

This webpage will focus on the HonorHealth Forensic nursing services. To learn more about medical forensic exam procedures visit the Get Medical Assistance page

For assaults that take place in Maricopa County, HonorHealth Forensic nursing services provides medical forensic exams within five days or 120 hours of the assault. ASU Health Services does not provide medical forensic examinations.

  • General Information:  480-312-6340, available Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Schedule an exam without a police report:  480-312-6339, available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.   

If you are outside of Maricopa County but in Arizona, view this list of Arizona Medical Forensic Exam Facilities. For those outside of Arizona but within the United States, visit RAINN for more information on how to locate an exam facility. 

What is HonorHealth Forensic Nursing services?

HonorHealth Forensic Nursing Services features registered nurses who are specially trained to assist victims and survivors following experience(s) of sexual and domestic violence. These nurses can administer medical forensic exams at local family advocacy centers. There are seven of these family advocacy centers located across Chandler, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott Valley, and Scottsdale. These medical forensic exams can assist with the collection of evidence following an experience of violence. In addition to accessing a medical forensic exam, victim advocates are available through the HonorHealth’s Forensic Nurse Examiner program to offer victims and survivors further support. These advocates can assist with obtaining orders of protection, developing a safety plan, accompanying a survivor to court, and more.

How does HonorHealth Forensic nursing services serve victims and survivors?

HonorHealth Forensic nursing services primarily serves victims and survivors through providing forensic exams. A forensic exam, sometimes called a SANE Exam or a Rape Kit, collects evidence following an experience of sexual assault.

Honor Health Forensic nursing services collaborates with cities across Maricopa County to ensure exams are conducted in trauma-informed spaces within Family Advocacy Centers. Honor Health Forensic nursing services holds a contract with Maricopa County to provide all forensic exams. Exams are not conducted in hospital settings, except in the case of emergencies and health concerns that require immediate attention.

If you report sexual assault to a police department, they will ask you if you’d like to have a forensic exam done if the assault happened within the last five days or 120 hours. If you decide to have an exam done, they will work with the forensic nurse to have the exam done in a Family Advocacy Center. There are multiple Family Advocacy Centers located throughout Maricopa County, learn more about them on the Maricopa County Family Advocacy Centers webpage.

Depending on where the sexual assault took place, victim advocates from the local city may be available to support you during the forensic exam and explain your options. Regardless of where the assault took place, ASU Police victim advocates can provide support.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization also states that any victim can receive a forensic exam, regardless of whether or not they choose to report to a police department. These exams, referred to as VAWA exams, also need to be conducted within five days or 120 hours of the experience. In Maricopa County, a VAWA exam can be scheduled with HonorHealth by calling 480-312-6339. VAWA exams are medical forensic exams that don’t involve reporting to police.

What to expect from a forensic exam?

During a medical forensic, the following might take place:

  • Physical exam
  • Documentation or photography of any injuries
  • If applicable, pelvic or genital exam
  • Evidence collection through the collection of blood, urine, clothing and swabs of the body

Review the Arizona Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Factsheet, developed by the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, to learn more about what to expect during a forensic medical exam, how evidence is collected and preserved, how the evidentiary kits are stored and more.