Forensic nursing services

Across the nation, about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced sexual violence, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. At HonorHealth, the Forensic Nurse Examiner Program is available to provide care and support if you’ve been a victim of this type of violence. We’re not just a healthcare system – we’re your healthcare advocate.

For more than 20 years, forensic nurse examiners at HonorHealth have been a critical part of a multidisciplinary team serving survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Other members of this team include law enforcement agencies, victim advocates, crisis intervention specialists, and Child and Adult Protective Services.

Who we are

Part of HonorHealth's robust community service arm, the Forensic Nurse Examiner Program includes a group of specially-trained registered nurses and victim services advocates who care for victims of interpersonal violence and address their unique, complex needs.

What we do

Forensic nurses are available for examinations throughout Maricopa and Yavapai counties at any time, day or night – every day of the year. Our nurses provide care to victims of sexual assault, sex trafficking, domestic violence, strangulation, elder abuse, physical abuse and other forms of violence. Nurses can also perform sexual assault exams for patients who are unsure about filing a police report.

Medical forensic examinations are often conducted at one of seven family advocacy centers, located in Chandler, Glendale, Goodyear, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott Valley and Scottsdale.

Medical forensic exams

Medical forensic exams address health and safety issues and include the collection of any potential evidence from an assault. Nurses will:

  • Obtain a medical history
  • Perform a physical exam
  • Collect potential evidence
  • Provide education about potential health risks and concerns related to an assault
  • Offer referrals for follow-up
  • Maintain the legal chain of custody for samples collected

Nurses may also:

  • Provide expert witness testimony in court when necessary
  • Respond to requests for court-ordered collection of samples that may link or exonerate someone from a crime

Victim advocacy

With funding from the Victims of Crime Act, HonorHealth’s Forensic Nurse Examiner program has two victim services advocates who can help victims of crime understand their rights and connect them with needed resources after they are seen by the forensic nurse. Advocates may assist with:

  • Filing victim’s compensation claims
  • Obtaining orders of protection
  • Developing a safety plan
  • Enrolling in the address confidentiality program
  • Court accompaniment
  • Follow-up for healthcare and counseling
  • Referrals to other community resources

Victim services advocates are also available to assist with:

  • Victims and their families during mass casualty situations
  • Unaccompanied victims without a source of support, especially victims who have no other advocacy support
  • Victims who choose not to report to police
  • Inmates who have been assaulted (exams can occur in the hospital emergency department)
  • Inpatients who have been a victim of any crime

Resources

If you have a medical emergency or would like to file a police report, call 9-1-1.

For general information, call 480-312-6340 (Available 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday).

For a medical forensic exam without a police report, call 480-312-6339 (Available 24/7/365).