Contact Us : (219) 866-5141 Contact
1104 East Grace Street, Rensselaer View Location Location

Center of Hope

S.A.F.E.R. is now the Center of Hope in Rensselaer. The mission of the Center of Hope is to provide state of the art forensic exams, caring and compassionate advocacy, and expert trial testimony to our patients, as well as offer education to the schools and community in safety, self-esteem and healthy relationships.


Center of Hope SANE Training

SANE training will be held July 25-29, 2016. For information about the course click here.

To print a registration form for the SANE training, click here.



Sexual assault is a crime that can happen to anyone, in any place, at any time.

Center of Hope is a not for profit organization dedicated to caring for individuals who have reached menarche (for females, puberty for males) and older and who have been victims of sexual assault. Services are available 24 hours a day by calling the police or by presenting to the Franciscan Health Rensselaer Emergency Department. Care is provided by specially trained forensic nurses who are experts in rape crisis syndrome and interviewing patients who have experienced sexual violence. They are specifically trained in identifying injury, collecting evidence, and photographing injuries as well as testifying to their findings. A team approach made up of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, Law Enforcement and victims assistance focus on the patient.

Our goal is to provide a safe and quiet atmosphere for our patient, and to give them back the control that they have lost. Only things that the patient agrees to will be done. Our patients are in control of what we do for them. Medications for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy prevention are offered along with referrals to community services. Shower facilities are available. All records at the facility are strictly confidential and will only be released to law enforcement, prosecution, and defense on request from these authorities if the patient decides to contact law enforcement.



  • Conduct state of the art forensic evidence gathering through a network of law enforcement and medical professionals with compassion and care.

  • Advise on follow-up network of psychosocial support.

  • Provide superior advocacy services.

  • Offer sexual assault resistance education.

  • Heighten community awareness about sexual assault.

  • Provide all services at no cost to the patient.

  • Break the silence through positive action.


If you or someone you know has been assaulted:

  • Go to a safe place and dial 911.

  • Do not bathe/shower.

  • Do not brush teeth.

  • If possible do not use restroom.

  • Do not change clothes.

  • Do not smoke or drink if possible.

  • Bring identification and change of clothing with you to the facility if possible.


Myth vs. Reality

Myth: Sexual assault usually occurs between strangers.

Reality: The majority of rape victims know their attackers. The rapist may be a relative, friend, co-worker, date or other acquaintance.

Myth: You can tell a rapist by the way he looks.

Reality: Rapists are not physically identifiable. They may appear friendly, normal and non-threatening. Many are young, married and have children.



Why seek treatment following a sexual assault?

  • To be sure that you are okay.

  • To be examined by a sexual assault nurse examiner with education, training and experience in collecting evidence and photography.

  • To protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases and receive education about possible pregnancy.

  • To collect evidence of the sexual assault.


Center of Hope is partially funded by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI.) However, in order to meet all of our goals, Center of Hope. needs you! If you would like to volunteer your time or make a tax-deductible financial donation, please contact Linda Lowry, Franciscan Health Rensselaer at 219-866-2073, or 1-888-511-5141 ext. 2073.




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