SAFE Exams Now Available Before Crime Is Reported

Revised Kentucky law now requires rape exams to be made available to sexual assault victims, even if the crime has not yet been reported. Sexual Assault Forensic-Medical Exams, or SAFE exams, are available at medical facilities across the commonwealth.

Kentucky State Police Lt. Col. Mike Sapp says delayed reporting of sexual assaults is not unusual.

“But unless we can get this evidence collected and preserved, it’s really difficult to get these perpetrators indicted,” he says. “And we’re glad to be part of this SAFE exam compliance project because we believe it will increase the number of cases that we have good quality evidence collected.”

State law requires SAFE exams to be provided to victims who request them, and victims can decide whether or not to immediately notify authorities. If they choose to delay, all medical evidence gathered during the exam will be stored for 90 days.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.