Forensic Nursing Services

If you or someone you know has experienced domestic or sexual violence, elder abuse, or child physical/sexual assault or abuse, we can help. Western Maryland Health System provides confidential, compassionate care and services for children, teens and adults of any age. These services are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Questions? Call 240-964-7000

Contact Us

What Should You Do?

Western Maryland Health System’s forensic nurses assist patients during an unsafe or crisis situation. If you or someone you know is in need of services, please go to the Emergency Department at WMHS. We have a private and safe area within the Emergency Department where a medical provider will see you.

One of our specially trained forensic nurse examiners is always available at WMHS. A forensic nurse examiner is a registered nurse who specializes in the care and treatment of individuals harmed by domestic or sexual violence. They are trained to collect medical evidence for law enforcement and serve as an expert witness in court.

24-Hour Hotlines

Family Crisis Resource Center (Maryland): 301-759-9244 
Family Crisis Center (West Virginia): 800-698-1240 
Dove Center (Garrett County, MD): 301-334-9000

Services for Sexual Assault Cases

  • A medical screening in the Emergency Department
  • A private consultation room for interviews
  • A private exam room for examinations
  • Medical forensic evidence collected by trained Forensic Nurse Examiners
  • Support for both you and your family, which is provided by a community-based Sexual Assault Response Team
  • Follow up healthcare referrals and consultations
  • Expert opinion and testimony

Services for Domestic Violence and Abuse Cases

  • Crisis intervention
  • Assessment of your risk of danger to plan for your safety
  • Safety planning
  • Advocacy
  • Referral to community resources
  • Thorough examination and documentation of physical evidence completed by forensic nurse examiner
  • Expert opinion and testimony

Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Here are some questions that can help determine if you are in an abusive relationship:

  • Do arguments with your partner often end with someone being physically hurt?
  • Have you been injured during these fights?
  • Does your partner destroy things you care about, like pets, family photos, and clothes?
  • Does your partner ever threaten to hurt you when you disagree?
  • Do you have to ask permission for almost everything you do?
  • Does your partner often put you down? Are you starting to believe what your partner says about you?
  • Have you been made to have sex when or in ways that you didn’t want?
  • Are you prevented from seeing your friends or family, getting a job, or continuing your education?
  • Do you feel isolated or alone?

If you are battered or in immediate danger, please go somewhere safe or call 9-1-1.

If injured, please go to the nearest emergency department or your family doctor and tell them what happened to you.

Services for Healthcare Providers

We provide services to help healthcare providers prepare to respond to domestic or sexual violence cases. Available services include:

  • Consultation with medical practices, including policy review
  • In-service training for staff
  • Awareness about other community-based resources, including healthcare and prevention services