Introduction to the Neurobiology of Trauma

Over 80% of all people under supervision in the criminal justice system have experienced trauma or show symptoms of trauma. Additionally, probation, parole and victim service providers encounter a high percentage of victims that are experiencing trauma. In underserved and Native American communities, it is critically important for criminal justice professionals to have skills to recognize and address historical trauma, generalized trauma, especially when there are limited services. Without being trauma-informed, we miss a vital component of responsivity when attending to client and victim.


All members of society are vulnerable to this crime, regardless of race, age, gender, ability, or social standing. You can find more information regarding Adults/Adolescents and sexual assault in the Adults/Adolescents tab.

S.A.N.E: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

Sexual Violence can have serious medical and health consequences for the victim and her family. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) tab explains the critical role of the SANE in a coordinated Sexual Assault Response Team (SART); SANE certification; and the SANE Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE).

International Association of Forensic Nurses

The International Association of Forensic Nurses' (IAFN) goal is to provide leadership in forensic nursing practice by developing, promoting, and disseminating information internationally about forensic nursing science.

The IAFN tab contains their latest updates, newsletters, and webinar schedule.

Health Consequences

The Health Consequences tab has information and resources about the myriad adverse health consequences associated with sexual violence, including, general physical injuries arising from the assault;

  • genital injuries;
  • gynecological complications;
  • bleeding;
  • infection;
  • pelvic pain;
  • pelvic inflammatory disease;
  • infertility and;
  • urinary tract infections. 

It is important to note that victims of sexual assault are more likely than the general population to suffer from adverse health effects as a result of their trauma. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Chronic Diseases;
  • Depression;
  • Anxiety;
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder;
  • Substance Abuse;
  • Alcohol Abuse;
  • Suicidal Thoughts;
  • Eating Disorders and;
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases.

Head Injuries

Family Justice Center: Head Injuries

Explains the various types of head injuries, how they happen, Warning Signs, when to get medical help, Common Problems After a head injury, Tips for Head Injuries.


U.S. Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women - A National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations: Pediatric

Sexual violence is a significant health, social, and legal problem in the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) strives to support communities across the country in their efforts to implement an effective response to victims of sexual violence. The medical forensic examination is an integral component of this response. It is designed to address victims’ health care needs and promote their safety and healing. In addition, forensic evidence collected during the examination—information gathered during the medical history, documentation of exam findings, and forensic samples, if potentially available—can help facilitate case investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of sexual violence. Success in meeting these objectives depends not only on the skills and knowledge of the health care providers conducting the examination, but also the coordinated efforts of all disciplines involved in the response to victims.


SAFESTAR is a unique model of care that draws upon the strength and resilience of Indigenous women. SAFESTAR aims to put an end to sexual violence and to provide compassionate, holistic care for women and teen victims.

Specially selected and qualified Native women learn the skills necessary to:

  • Deliver emergency First Aid to sexual assault survivors
  • Provide referrals for follow-up medical and other care
  • Educate communities on the harm caused by sexual violence and lead the way back to healthy, respectful ways of living
  • Collect sexual assault forensic evidence "rape kits" to promote accountability for perpetrators

HIPAA and Subpoenas

The HIPAA and Subpoenas tab contains information about confidentiality, court orders, subpoenas, and discovery requests.

STI: Sexually Transmitted Infections

Information and resources about the major sexually transmitted diseases is contained in the Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) tab.

Contact NICCSA

PO Box: 2100 E Speedway Blvd, Box 40805, Tucson, AZ 85719

Phone: (520) 623-8192
Fax: (520) 623-8246

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*NICCSA is a project of the Southwest Center for Law and Policy ( This project is supported by Grant No. 2017-SA-AX-K001, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.