If someone is presenting as a survivor of sexual assault, hospital staff are legally mandated to CALL A CONFIDENTIAL ADVOCATE.
NH Mandates that hospitals call a confidential advocate to offer assistance to sexual assault survivors at emergency rooms. 21-M:8-d Standardized Rape Protocol and Kit pursuant to RSA 541-A.
The role of the advocate at the hospital is to support the patient during the medical exam and to help the patient understand the process and options that are available to them. Sexual assault is a traumatic experience that can be difficult to process, and patients may experience a wide range of emotions. The crisis center advocate, whose communication with the victim is privileged under RSA 173-C:2, can help address these emotional needs while maintaining the patient’s confidentiality.
Patients who have experienced sexual assault are usually better able to respond to procedures when they are supported, believed and safe.