Procedures for Survivors of Sexual Assault

If an incident of sexual misconduct occurs, it is important to preserve evidence so that successful criminal prosecution remains an option.

The survivor of a sexual assault should not wash, shower or bathe, douche, brush teeth, comb hair, or change clothes prior to a medical exam or treatment. If a survivor has removed the clothing he or she was wearing during the assault prior to seeking medical treatment, that clothing should be placed in a brown paper, not plastic, bag and brought to the hospital when treatment is sought. If the survivor is still wearing the clothes that he or she was wearing during an assault, he or she should bring a change of clothes with him or her to the hospital so that the clothes containing possible evidence can be preserved and examined for evidence of the crime.

Evidence of violence, such as bruising or other visible injuries following an incident of sexual assault, should be documented by taking photographs. Evidence of stalking, including any communications such as written notes, email, voice mail, or other electronic communications sent by the stalker, should be saved and not altered in any way.