Victims of Sexual Assault Receive Specialized Care in a Highly Specialized, Private Examination
and Treatment Area
Long Island Community Hospital has been designated by the Department of Health as a New York State Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Hospital. As one of only four Suffolk County hospitals with the designation, Long Island Community Hospital has established an organized program in partnership with Victims Bureau of Suffolk County (VIBS) to provide specially trained Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners to deliver sexual assault services to victims who are brought to the Hospital.
Funding from generous community partners including the Knapp-Swezey Foundation, New York Community Bank Foundation, Long Island Community Foundation, TD Bank, and Patchogue Community Service Foundation enabled the creation and equipping of the necessary specialized SAFE examination room to provide compassionate and confidential care to victims in need of sexual assault services. In addition to helping preserve the victim’s dignity and reduce psychological trauma, the SANE Nurse Examiner is trained to provide more comprehensive evidence collection for more effective investigations and better prosecutions.
According to NYS Division of Criminal Justice statistics, 171 forcible rapes were reported in 2020, a decrease from the 234 in 2019 but up from 151 in 2016. RAINN (Rape Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, reports that one in six women will have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. In the past year alone, 19 patients have come to Long Island Community Hospital in need of sexual assault services.
“Receiving designation as a SAFE hospital allows Long Island Community Hospital to meet a growing healthcare concern in our community,” states President and Chief Executive Officer, Richard T. Margulis. “An important component of this vital care includes working in close collaboration with the Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk County (VIBS), the Family Violence, the Rape Crisis Center, the Suffolk County Police Department, and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to better help victims of sexual assault within the 28 communities we serve.”
In addition to providing a private and calming environment, the SAFE Examination Room has all of the necessary equipment including a specialized examination station with ultraviolet lighting and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment that can capture imagery for documentation, along with locked holding areas and the forensic supplies needed to secure, collect and transport evidence.
“We are able to provide these vital specialized services as a result of the generosity of our local community,” says Rachel Schnabl, the hospital’s Vice President and Chief Development Officer. “We would like to thank the Knapp Swezey Foundation, TD Bank Foundation, the Long Island Community Foundation, New York Community Bank Foundation and the Rotary Club of Patchogue for providing the funding that enabled us to move forward with a successful application for SAFE Designation.”
Representatives from the Knapp Swezey Foundation and VIBS met Mr. Margulis and Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Debra Grimm, at the hospital to commemorate the approval of the specialized unit.
About Long Island Community Hospital
Long Island Community Hospital (LI Community Hospital) has served this richly diverse region as a patient-first community hospital for almost 65 years. LI Community Hospital is 100% focused on the community and committed to providing quality care with greatly enhanced services reflected through the Knapp Cardiac Care Center – a highly advanced heart disease diagnosis and treatment facility, a new modern surgical pavilion, a level III trauma center, and high-touch services including women’s imaging, sleep laboratory, wound care and more. These services are delivered with the highest level of compassion by LI Community Hospital staff – Long Islanders with an unmistakable mix of courage and heart who care about the people right here in the community and whose sole purpose is to provide personalized comfort.