Forensic Medical Services

In 1991, Palomar Health established the hospital's Sexual Assault Response Team program. The program specializes in forensic medical evaluations and evidentiary examinations for adolescent, adult, and geriatric survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, strangulation, and/or any assault. The program has evolved into what has become fully-functioning, state-of-the-art Forensic Center with several specialized programs.

Specialized Examinations

Sexual Assault Examination (SART)

A sexual assault forensic medical exam is intended to collect forensic evidence for use in the criminal prosecution of the person who perpetrated the sexual assault. The medical exam is performed by healthcare professionals with specialized training in working with 
survivors and collecting samples.

Domestic Assault Forensic Examination (DAFE)

This program provides forensic medical evaluations and evidentiary exams of adolescent, adult, and geriatric survivors of domestic violence and/or strangulation.

Forensic Assault Examination (FAX)

The exam is designed to collect physical and forensic evidence that could be helpful in a criminal prosecution in assaults that are not intimate partner in nature. 

Children's Services

Child Advocacy Center (CAC)

Originally established in 1984, the Child Advocacy Center is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance. Palomar Health’s CAC is one of 48 such accredited programs in the state of California and only one of two in San Diego County.

Expert Services

Forensic Health Services specializes in the gathering of forensic evidence, providing compassionate and timely care to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Expert services provided:

  • Forensic medical evidentiary exams to assess a victim's health care needs, coordinate treatment of any injuries and collect evidence for potential use during case investigation and prosecution
  • At the request of law enforcement or Child Welfare Services, a forensic interview is conducted in a supportive and non-leading manner to obtain a statement from a child or developmentally disabled adult in a culturally sensitive, unbiased and fact finding manner by professionals trained in a national forensic interview model.
  • Advocacy services are designed to help reduce trauma for the child and non-offending caregiver, and to be an ongoing support for the child and family. Children and families participate in follow-up services which may include referrals for community support, assistance with navigating the criminal justice system, and crisis intervention services.
  • Suspect exams for evidence collection
  • Community education / professional training

Our Team of Experts

The Forensic Health Services staff is composed of experienced and dedicated staff. Our experts work in a coordinated, multi-disciplinary approach to the investigation of child abuse and sexual assault, including law enforcement, prosecutors, child welfare services, and victim advocacy. 

  • Forensic Medical Director
  • Forensic Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
  • Forensic Interviewers
  • Case Coordinators
  • Advocates

To Report Suspected Child Abuse: 1.800.344.6000

If a child is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.


Do you have questions about Forensic Health Services at Palomar Health in North San Diego County? Visit Our Services for more information, Contact Us or Find our Location(s).

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