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What to Do

Medical Exam

What Else You Should Know

What Happens During
the Medical Exam?

The following is a very brief description of what to expect during a forensic medical exam or "rape kit". Remember to ask questions as you go along if you don't understand something and remember you can refuse any part of the exam if you choose.

  • You should try not to use the bathroom, eat, or drink before the exam because this may interfere with some aspects of evidence collection.
  • You must give written consent to have the exam performed.
  • You will be asked to give a general medical history (i.e. current medications, past illnesses etc...)
  • You will be asked to give a "sexual assault/abuse history" which is a detailed description of the assault.
  • If you are wearing clothing you wore during the assault you may be asked to give it to the nurse as evidence.
  • The nurse will take various "samples" from you (such as fingernail scrapings, hair standards, oral swabs etc...) this is for evidence collection and to establish a difference between your DNA and any other that is found.
  • If you think you were given a "drug" used to facilitate a rape or sexual assault the nurse will collect a urine sample. Depending on the time lapsed since the assault, the nurse may also advise the collection of blood.
  • The nurse will offer you emergency contraception and medications that may help to prevent contraction of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • The final stage of the exam is a vaginal/penile exam in which the nurse will check for injuries and evidence.

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