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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the IHS sexual assault policy?

A: The IHS established its first formal sexual assault policy in March 2011 to provide uniform clinical care guidelines for sexual assault survivors at IHS hospitals; improve access to trained Sexual Assault Examiners; ensure survivors' needs are addressed; support community efforts to participate in a coordinated community response; and encourage IHS personnel to collect accurate evidence in a timely manner to aid the justice system in holding perpetrators accountable.

Q. Does the sexual assault policy apply to IHS clinics?

A: The March 2011 IHS Sexual Assault Policy applies to 24/7 hospitals; however, draft revisions to the policy expand requirements to IHS operated health clinics and stations. Dr. Roubideaux requested tribal comments in March 2013 to the revised draft policy. Comments are due to IHS by June 14, 2013. View the Dear Tribal Leader letter

Q. Who pays for a sexual assault examination?

A: To view eligibility requirements for health benefits from the Indian Health Service, please visit the IHS For Patients FAQ page.

Q. Why are the sexual and intimate partner violence programs based in the Division of Behavioral Health?

A: The response to domestic and sexual violence is a nationally coordinated response managed by the Division of Behavioral Health for funding, policy, training, and technical assistance. IHS supports behavioral health as a crucial component in the response to domestic and sexual violence when the patient chooses these services.

Q. Does the IHS policy allow victim advocates or another support person of the patient's choosing to be in the room at the time of the exam?

A: Yes, the IHS Sexual Assault Policy outlines that patients should be offered the support of a victim advocate or other support person of their choosing during the exam process.

Q. How do we get more information on Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative programs?

A: Contact the Division of Behavioral Health at 301-443-2038 and ask for a DVPI Project Officer.