Anatomy of a forensic sexual assault exam

Because of the nature of the sexual violence perpetrated against Daniel Holtzclaw’s victims, it is likely that many of them did not receive forensic exams following the abuse they suffered. Unfortunately (and fortunately) many people do not know of services available to them once a sexual assault has occurred.

This is about that service…

ANATOMY of a SANE EXAM…from a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE)

1st off: If you’re curious about this because a perpetrator chose to violate you, I AM SORRY THIS HAPPENED TO YOU.

Also importantly: this crime perpetrated against you was NOT YOUR FAULT. In all actuality, HAD HE/SHE NOT CHOSEN TO RAPE YOU, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN RAPED. It was their choice, not yours. I don’t care if you walked down the street naked, or walked into a bar naked; no one has the right to have sex with you against your
will. NO ONE.

And NO MEANS NO. Any sexual contact beyond that point is sexual assault. PERIOD.

Now begins the blue print for a forensic exam- shortened- the SANE exam.

Many people ask upon seeking these types of services- be it of the officer, the ER nurse, or the sexual assault advocate- “WILL IT HURT?” To that, I say almost never, does it hurt. The SANE will check you over for injury. They may place a speculum into your vagina (only if applicable), and that may cause discomfort, but rarely does it cause pain. (Except for the prophylactic STD injection- that can sting pretty good, but I’ll get to that later.)

Before the SANE looks you over, she will ask QUESTIONS TO GET TO KNOW YOU. This will include your medical history, and other basic information, such as where you live, any surgeries you’ve had, and any medications you’re allergic to.

There will most likely be some UNCOMFORTABLE/INTIMATE QUESTIONS about you; brace yourself for this. It’s not in order for the nurse to judge you, or to make you feel bad, but so that it can be established: if other DNA may be present (other than the perpetrator of the sexual assault), what type of contact occurred, and whether your activities after the assault could have caused some of the DNA to be less prevalent. The SANE will most likely ask if you had consensual sexual contact within a specific timeframe (dependent upon that SANE program). Please don’t be offended: if you had consensual sex with your husband, his DNA will likely also be present, and the lab will need to know that. The SANE will ask you what happened during the sexual assault. This will tell the nurse where to go to collect swabs, as well as how to medically treat you. The SANE will ask if you showered/bathed/pooped/peed/wiped/washedas well as whether you ate or drank anything since the assault.

And then there’s the physical exam. Most of this tickles, and includes swabs (like q-tips) being lightly rolled across your skin.

YOU MAY BE PHOTOGRAPHED. These pictures will NOT be posted on the Internet, or displayed in any other public forum by the SANE, but are used for prosecution of the assailant.

Lastly, you will be TREATED PROPHYLACTICALLY for STDs and in some cases pregnancy. The CDC RECOMMENDS treatment for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomonas. These are currently the most common STDs. For this, you may be given high dose of antibiotics all at once. One of them is an injection of Rocephin. This is the one that stings pretty good, but is top of the line treatment to keep you from getting this nasty bug (gonorrhea). The emergency contraception pills are not abortion pills. If you already have an established pregnancy, it will not effect that.

The SANE and/or advocate will likely give you resources as well. These may include places for follow up medical care, sexual assault counseling, and other helpful information to assist you on your healing journey. Because YOU are NOT ALONE in this.

There is help.

The national rape hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

Here is their website:
https://rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-hotline

The Oklahoma state rape hotline is 1-800-522-9054 or 1-405-943-RAPE (7273)

Here is the state rape and sexual assault website:
http://www.aardvarc.org/rape/states/okrp.shtml
Here is the YWCA OKC website:
ywcaokc.org

There IS help available. I recommend seeking help from those who are qualified. Possibly that is not your best friend’s sister’s cousin, who may tell you that had you not been there, it wouldn’t have happened, or that if you hadn’t been wearing that maybe the guy would’ve raped someone else. That is, unless that person is supportive of you (none of which the above statements in this paragraph are)

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Unraveling Rape

Excerpt from The Scent of a Woman:

Jimmy Martin hobbled to the corner for the fifteenth time that night. The new billboard that had just gone up was just too much to bear, and he simply wasn’t having it. True that he had spotted the jezebel in some of the billboards around town, but so close to his home camp it was unbearable. And he knew this for a fact because he was an apostle, called upon by God to cleanse his city of unrighteousness.
As he looked upon the face of the beautiful, scantily clad woman, he was reminded of the whore that had birthed him from her loins. Tossed into the street like trash at such a young age by the whore, so that she could partake of pleasures of the flesh, he knew how evil blasphemous tramps could be; just as surely as he knew that he was a prophet sent from God that would do his bidding and end the treacherous reign of sinners.
As fixated as he was on the slut in the billboard, he didn’t feel his erection. As he hobbled back to his hovel in the middle of the makeshift tent city that dwelled in downtown Oklahoma City, the throbbing between his legs became a nuisance that he began punching at.
When he finally arrived at his own abode, it was to an unexpected visitor. So caught up in searching for his treasures was she, that his presence was unknown to her. He watched her for a moment as the aching in his groin became more acute until finally he decided that as a messenger from God it was his right to partake of that which would offer him enjoyment.
With this entitlement owed to him in mind, he tackled the unsuspecting creature into the corner and ripped at the shirt at the same time. When it would think to fight back he ripped its shirt open and bit the beast’s breast, causing it to submit. After a weak struggle it stilled and he knew he could have his way with it, cleansing it of its filthy sins. As he did his rightful duty, he thought of the cunt on the billboard and what he intended to do to her and decided that the whore whose body he currently inhabited was lucky to have his seed inside her.

Meanwhile in OKC…a rape trial continues.

There is so much I can say about the case of Daniel Hortzclaw…where to begin? (Of importance to note: I did not to my knowledge conduct a forensic exam on any who were involved in this case.)
Let’s talk about the dynamics of rape, or more specifically the way it is perpetrated and perpetuated. News flash here! What I am about to tell you are things rapists already know; things that shield them and allow them to continue preying on the innocent.

To gain new perspective, first examine your thoughts on what a rapist looks like. Did you conjure up the image of a guy in a ski mask carrying around ropes to tie up his prey? Or did you picture the face of this guy, who is a convicted child rapist?:

The truth is that you can’t look at a person and automatically know that they would rape, given the opportunity. (If only it were that easy!)

The same philosophy holds true for the victim. You can’t just look at a person and know that this horrible act has been perpetrated on them. The societal assumption is that when a woman is raped, she is automatically hysterical- crying uncontrollably, or screaming at the top of her lungs, and that she has loads of injury- especially vaginal trauma. Not the case usually. (People have ten pound babies and no injury, why would she have to have injury from a penis?) Of all of the 400+ exams I’ve done, I’ve rarely seen a patient who is extremely tearful or angry. More commonly, the reaction is that they feel guilty, ashamed, and blame themselves for their own violation. Not surprising since the victim- contrary to popular belief- quite often knew and had varying degrees of trust in her assailant. Further, this is something the rapist will often use to his benefit, telling the victim that the assault was her fault.
http://www.nij.gov/…/rape-s…/pages/victims-perpetrators.aspx
Though it can be difficult to filter out the facts about what happens with this type of victimization, you can learn about the dynamics of rape…understanding that is the first step in changing this rape culture we live in. A culture where a man in an honorable profession can use the inherent power of that profession to violate numerous women of his choosing. A culture where Slut Walks are necessary, and will hopefully help put an end to that rape culture. What is a Slut Walk? Learn about it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk
Rapists often choose the vulnerable. They don’t choose a woman because she’s so hot and he couldn’t help himself. (As if men are incapable of controlling themselves…what are they, animals?!) So who do they choose? Do they choose victims who have been drinking? I want you to answer that question for me. Are drunk women vulnerable to sexual assault? Take this case for example:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/steubenville-rape/
And what about nursing home residents who can’t speak? No way! you think.
Yes way:
http://www.startribune.com/nursing-aide-sentenced-to-8-y…/…/
Think about it: are nursing home residents who can’t talk or walk vulnerable? Of course they are. And rapists know this and therefore target them.

Are you beginning to gain an understanding of the way rape is perpetrated and perpetuated? Let me enlighten you further. According to RAINN, approximately 68% of rapes go unreported.
https://rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates
The perpetrators know this, and in fact strive to keep it this way, often using manipulation tactics to avoid capture.

Manipulation tactics are what was said to be used by Daniel Hortzclaw, the former officer who now stands trial accused of raping many women who were vulnerable. Women who had past experiences with law enforcement. Women who he calculated would be powerless to stop his abuse. Thankfully he was wrong. And thankfully, first one, and then many more victims had the courage to come forward. Monumental courage. Monumental because not only was speaking out a matter of reporting the crime, which is difficult enough by itself. Most of the women he chose to violate had some type of criminal record in their past. Not surprising since Oklahoma’s rate of incarcerated women is nearly twice the national average.
http://racism.org/index.php…
All of his victims were African American women who tend to already be marginalized. How was he able to locate these women? His patrol encompassed an area of OKC that is predominantly African American. Talk about strategizing his crimes! That is the type of manipulation of which I speak. However, in his case, he took it many steps further, even contacting some of his victims afterwards, promising that he would help to clear their name if they would agree to his sexual assault. I doubt he stated it as that, however. According to Dr. David Lisak, many rapists minimize and sanitize their own violence.
https://www.legalmomentum.org/store/undetected-rapist-dvd
I could go on about this all day. I won’t. I do however hope that I have enlightened you. Daniel Hortzclaw’s jury consists of all white males. If you ever find yourself in a position where you must decide whether a person is, in fact, a rape victim, please keep these dynamics in mind. Whether you are the person in the jury box, or it is your mom, your best friend, or your girlfriend who trusts you enough to confide this information in you.
If you are ever in that position, I want you to think also of what you will say. Sometimes you won’t know what to say. What you can say is this:
“I’m sorry this happened to you.”
“I believe you.”
“I will support you when and if you are ready to report.”
And most importantly,
“This was NOT your fault.”

the straight shooter

It isn’t easy being the straight shooter…

bluntI’ve informed family members their loved one would die after they were rushed out…
A lover that it wasn’t to work out…
Although, I, to him, was the sun, the moon, the oxygen…
A friend that, “Yes: those jeans do make your butt look big!”

A politician, I am not (though that would be so much easier)…
Instead, I’m too busy walking the walk to talk the over-hyped talk…
I’m too busy being The Awesome to convince you of that which I am unworthy…

And I am invisible. Until I must shoot straight to you, imbibing in you the strength to:

Love more.
Be more.
Achieve more.
Live more.
And sometimes…
Let go.

A straight shooter gets little love…
But then again, we don’t expect it…
We just expend our effort doing our best…
The rest will work itself out.

the house where love died

I returned to the house today…lonely
Where love died.
There were a few happy years there…
Until I realized a few things.

The decorations that were hung with care every year…
Only enlivened the house because my spirit breathed life into them.

The parties…oh, the parties!
The alcohol, and every other living being around us…
Was what made them fun.
You were separate from me.
We could’ve each been present as singles.

And everything else was up to me.

It’s ironic how being single…
Being in a relationship with myself
Is remarkably less lonely.