Sexual Assault Information and Resources

 

 
Photo of Stethoscope

The Office for Victims Programs (OVP) provides resources to assist hospitals, communities, and sexual assault victims respond to the crime.

What is Sexual Assault?

Sexual assault is a crime that encompasses a wide range of sexual acts perpetrated against an individual without their consent. Two primary categories of sexual assault laws exist in Colorado: Unlawful Sexual Contact outlined in C.R.S. 18-3-404 and Sexual Assault outlined in C.R.S. 18-3-402.

The survivor of a sexual assault is never to blame. The only person responsible for sexual assault is the perpetrator of the crime.

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 14 men have experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime.

Colorado's Response

Division of Criminal Justice staff work with agency partners to improve outcomes for sexual assault victims.The Forensic Compliance Team (FCT) meets to address ongoing forensic compliance and policy concerns related to sexual assault in Colorado. The Colorado SANE/SAFE Project is a statewide resource for medical forensic exam programs. These programs develop locally based, cost-effective, sustainable, and victim-centered Medical Forensic Exam Programs (MFEPs) through coordination with local hospital administrators and training of local medical professionals.

For more information, visit the SANE/SAFE Project website or contact shamaree.ramirez@uchealth.org.

Quick Links

Evidence Testing (CBI)

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Locations

Reporting Options

Victims of sexual assault in Colorado have three options for reporting. They may choose to file a law enforcement report, a medical report, or an anonymous report. In all cases, victims determine whether to have a medical forensic exam (sexual assault specific medical care and evidence collection).

They are not financially responsible for the cost of the evidence collection portion of the exam. During the exam, the individual determines what, if any, evidence will be collected.  

For the latest information on your reporting options please visit YOU have the RIGHT.

For assistance for where to seek medical care please check out the Medical Forensic Exam/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Programs and Tiene el Derecho Encuentre Servicios de Soporte.

Forensic Compliance Team

What is the Forensic Compliance Team?

The Forensic Compliance Team (FCT) is a group of multidisciplinary stakeholders. The team meets quarterly. They address forensic compliance and policy concerns related to sexual assault in Colorado. They provide feedback and support to Colorado service providers to ensure state compliance with the Violence Against Women Act forensic compliance mandates.

The Forensic Compliance Evaluation Project

Forensic compliance laws mandate that sexual assault victims receive medical forensic exams at no cost to the victim without required participation in a law enforcement investigation.

In 2013, the Forensic Compliance Team (FCT) published Forensic Compliance in Colorado: An Examination of System Response to Sexual Assault (PDF). This study examined the implementation and impact of forensic compliance laws. The study includes a quantitative analysis of adult forensic compliance cases and quantitative and qualitative surveys of professional responders to adult sexual assault cases including medical professionals, victim advocates, law enforcement officers, and prosecutors.  

The FCT used the results to develop and implement the Forensic Compliance Evaluation Project. The project seeks to identify effective approaches and challenges encountered with the implementation of forensic compliance law mandated through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and related Colorado law.

Forensic Compliance Evaluation Project Report

One of the recommendations of the Forensic Compliance Evaluation Project (FCEP) was to create a statewide multidisciplinary protocol. In 2017, the Forensic Compliance Team also published Sexual Assault Reporting Options: Guidelines for Response (PDF) to assist service providers across the state in understanding the law and various reporting options for survivors of sexual assault in Colorado.

Sexual Assault Victim Emergency Payment Program (SAVE)

The Sexual Assault Victim Emergency Payment Program (SAVE) provides financial assistance to medical and anonymous reporting victims of sexual assault. The program helps pay for costs associated with obtaining a medical forensic exam (MFE).

Essential SAVE Information

The SAVE Program will pay for routine costs associated with obtaining a medical forensic exam. Hospitals may download the Medical Forensic Exam Payment Request Form (PDF) and send it to Jill Nore for payment.

Eligibility

Only medical and anonymous reporting victims are eligible for the SAVE program. This program provides payment assistance to medical and anonymous reporting victims for (in priority order):

  • The cost of the evidence collection portion of the medical forensic exam.  Survivors never pay this cost.
  • Routine costs associated with accessing a medical forensic exam (MFE).
  • Some medical expenses related to injuries sustained from the sexual assault.

For FY (fiscal year) 2022, the current per incident cap payable by the SAVE program is $4,000. This amount is inclusive of the MFE and associated medical costs incurred from a sexual assault. The cap is subject to change based on the availability of funds. 

How Are MFEs Paid For?

Victim/Survivor elects not to participate with law enforcement 

  1. The Division of Criminal Justice will pay for the evidence collection portion of a medical forensic exam.
  2. If the victim has insurance and requests that their insurance is billed, the hospital bills the survivor's insurance for related costs. If the victim makes an anonymous or medical report, the SAVE program will pay for insurance deductibles and co-pays.
  3. After the SAVE program has paid the hospital for eligible medical expenses (up to the cap), the patient is responsible for paying any outstanding balances.

Victim/Survivor reports the sexual assault to law enforcement

  1. The law enforcement agency will pay the cost of the evidence collection portion of the medical exam.
  2. A law enforcement reporting victim may be able to request Victim Compensation to cover additional costs associated with the assault.
What If I Decide to Report to Law Enforcement After Receiving the Exam?

If the survivor chooses not to make a report to law enforcement, they still can do so at a later time. Any medical bills they have after reporting to law enforcement may be covered through Victim Compensation, rather than the SAVE program.