Aspirus Media Center

Aspirus SANE Program

Providing compassionate care for adolescents and adult sexual assault victims


Amy Riegert, RN, Aspirus SANE Coordinator

Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted – 54 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). These statistics are not just numbers; they represent individuals whose lives have been deeply impacted by sexual violence.


Shockingly, one in three women and one in six men have experienced sexual violence nationally, often by someone they know. This trauma highlights the urgent need for awareness and support to address this pervasive issue and help survivors heal.


The experience of sexual assault is devastating for patients and their loved ones. To begin the healing process, the nurses of the Aspirus Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE) are specially trained to provide compassionate care and treatment to survivors of assault.


“At Aspirus, we have a team of nurses with specialized training to perform medical and forensic examinations for adolescents and adults who have been sexually assaulted or strangled,” explains Amy Riegert, Registered Nurse and SANE Coordinator with Aspirus Health.


During a SANE exam, the patient is always in control. “Our exams encompass trauma-informed care, giving survivors their autonomy back and allowing them to make choices for themselves,” says Riegert. “Some of the choices they can make include what services they want us to provide and setting a pace that they’re comfortable with.”


With permission, the nurse will ask the survivor about the assault, perform a physical exam including genitalia, complete an evidence collection kit, offer risk assessment for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and coordinate care with a sexual assault advocate.


The evidence collected during the exam will go into a kit that will be shipped directly to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab. Riegert explains that the kit will be held for up to ten years, allowing survivors time to decide if they want to report the assault to law enforcement or not. If survivors choose to track their kit through the chain of custody from law enforcement to the crime lab, nurses can provide information at this time.


Aspirus SANE Programs are expanding across the system, with services currently available at seven Aspirus hospitals. If someone has experienced sexual assault, they can go to one of the locations listed below or to their nearest emergency department to get set up with arrangements to travel to the nearest hospital that performs forensic exams.


To contact Aspirus SANE in your area, call:

  • Aspirus Ironwood Hospital: 906.932.2525
  • Aspirus Medford Hospital 715.748.8100
  • Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital: 715.361.2000
  • Aspirus Riverview Hospital: 715.423.6060
  • Aspirus Stevens Point Hospital: 715.346.5000
  • Aspirus Wausau Hospital: 715.847.2121
  • Howard Young Medical Center: 715.356.8000


Riegert emphasizes that if a survivor is seeking care where SANE services aren’t available, “patients can still get the preventative care they need such as emergency contraception, as well as protection against STIs and HIV. These are available at any emergency department.”


For more about SANE, visit


To speak with someone anonymously, the following 24/7 free confidential hotlines are available:



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