Cheyenne Regional Medical Center’s sexual assault/forensic nurses provide safe, compassionate, and confidential care to anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault.
Our nurses have been specially trained in providing trauma-informed care, and they understand the importance of maintaining sensitivity and confidentiality in their conversations with patients seeking help.
If you have been the victim of a sexual assault, seek medical-forensic care as quickly as possible.
If you are uncomfortable coming to the CRMC emergency department, please call (307) 633-7670. Provide the secretary with your phone number, and a forensic nurse will return your phone call.
When you arrive at the hospital, a sexual assault/forensic nurse assist you with:
- Getting a medical-forensic exam
- Your medical-forensic exam will be driven by your wishes; no part of the exam is mandatory
- Collecting evidence, if you choose
- Contacting law enforcement, if you wish to do so
- If you are over the age of 18, it is your choice as to involve law enforcement or not
- Preventative treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, if you wish to do so
- Contacting community resources for safety, if needed (Safehouse, etc.)
- Accessing a list of community resources for future needs (legal advice, advocacy, housing assistance, etc.)
What to do if you have been sexually assaulted (raped)
Your safety is most important. If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Go to a safe place as soon as you can, and ask someone you trust to stay with you.
Remember: Bathing, wiping, eating, drinking, going to the bathroom, changing your clothes or douching may compromise evidence collection. However, please don’t hesitate to see a CRMC forensic nurse if you have done any or even all these actions; there could still be potential evidence present, if you are interested in evidence collection.
What is sexual assault?
Sexual assault is the legal term for rape, but it encompasses other behaviors beyond forced sexual intercourse.
Sexual assault is:
- Any unwanted sexual contact (such as groping sexual body parts)
- Any penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth
- Committed against a person’s will
- Committed with intimidation or physical force. Maybe something about when patient is not able to consent due to alcohol or drugs.
Sexual assault is not about sexual desire; it is about power and control.
What are date rape drugs?
GHB, rohypnol (Roofie) and ketamine have become known as “date rape drugs” because they are used to incapacitate someone for the purposes of committing a crime, often sexual assault.
If you think you were drugged or consumed a sedative-like substance, please come to the CRMC Emergency Department and ask a forensic/sexual assault nurse to take a urine sample. If you still have remnants of the drink, bring them with you for analysis.
Screening for date rape drugs may be done up to 120 hours after the incident, but it is optimally done within 24 hours. Since many of these drugs clear the system quickly, a negative test result does not necessarily mean that a drug was not involved.
These drugs are odorless and colorless and can easily be slipped into someone’s drink. They can cause dizziness, disorientation, loss of inhibition and a loss of consciousness. They can also produce a loss of memory and cause a victim to be unclear of what happened.
These drugs are particularly dangerous when combined with alcohol, although alcohol alone is still the drug most commonly associated with sexual assault.
When people hear the phrase “date rape drug,” alcohol isn’t usually what comes to mind, but statistics show a link between alcohol and sexual assaults.
What is consent?
Consent is not the absence of the word “no.” Consent is needed by both people involved in an intimate act.
Each person needs to be fully conscious and aware, equally free to act, and able to clearly communicate his/her willingness and permission.
If you resisted, pushed, didn’t participate (just laid there) or the attacker had to coerce you into the act, you did not give consent.
Who sexually assaults others?
Anyone may be the perpetrator of sexual assault. The perpetrator may be a stranger, an acquaintance, a lover, a partner or a date.
Most of the time, the perpetrator of the assault is someone the victim knows.
Do I have to report a sexual assault to the police?
Unless you’re under the age of 18, coming to the CRMC Emergency Department after a sexual assault doesn’t mean you must make a report to the police.
It is still important to come to the hospital even if you do not want to report your assault so you can receive medical care and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy prevention. You can always decide to report to the police later.
If I tell my family about a sexual assault, will it be helpful?
Many people find it hard to disclose to their family, but ultimately find the love and support given by family to be helpful to their healing process.
Some survivors may be concerned about hurting their family or fear that their family may blame them for the attack. Only you can decide when or if to tell your family.
What if I have mutual friends or belong to the same groups as the assailant?
This is a common situation since most assaults occur between acquaintances. Surround yourself with people who support, respect and believe you. Trust your instincts and take steps to ensure your personal safety and well-being.
If you are experiencing harassment or feel unsafe, contact the police or district attorney’s office to learn more about legal options.
Our community is full of resources to help you advocate for yourself, find support, and offer guidance. You are not alone; we are here to help!
- Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC)
– Main: (307) 634-2273
– Emergency Department: (307) 633-7670
– Sex Assault Coordinator: (307) 633-7610
– Behavioral Health: (307) 633-7382
– Victim Helpline: (888) 996-8816
- Cheyenne Laramie County Public Health: (307) 633-4000
- Family Planning: (307) 633-4040
- Peak Wellness: (307) 634-9653
- Human Trafficking Hotline: (888) 373-7888
- Safe House: (307) 634-8655
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233
- Suicide Hotlines: (800) 457-9312, (800) SUICIDE
- Wyoming Office of Victim Services: (307) 777-7200
- US Attorney Victim Program: (307) 772-2124
- Burns Police Department: (307) 547-2252
- Cheyenne Police Department: (307) 637-6519
- Laramie County Sheriff’s Office: (307) 633-4700
- Pine Bluffs Police Department: (307) 245-3777
- FE Warren AFB Response Coordinator: (307) 773-6444