Post-Assault Medical Care
Receiving medical care in the aftermath of an assault is crucial, regardless of whether or not you intend to report the assault to the police or the school. Medical care following an assault includes:
- A physical examination of injuries (both external and internal)
- Evidence collection (if presenting within 96 hours of assault). Hospital emergency rooms are required to store evidence gathered from a sexual assault for 30 days, so survivors have time to decide if they want to report the crime to the police with the evidence gathered.
- Preventive treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Preventive treatment for HIV (if presenting within 36 hours)
- Emergency contraception (if presenting within 72 hours)
- Medical follow-up referrals and information
A forensic medical exam can take between three and four hours. You have the right to decline any portion of the exam. Federal law requires that forensic exams be conducted for free regardless of the survivors’ decision to report the assault to police.
In order to preserve forensic evidence, it is advised that you refrain from washing, using the bathroom, changing clothes, combing hair, cleaning up the crime scene, and moving or touching anything the perpetrator may have touched. Evidence can only be collected within 96 hours of the assault.
Find a list of all NYC SAFE Centers here.