What to Expect at the Hospital
It is very important that a victim of sexual assault receives medical attention for your physical well being. If there is any chance that a complaint will be filed, it is very helpful to have a medical exam. If you decide to go to the hospital for an exam, there are some things that might be helpful for you to know.
- You may request that someone be present at the hospital with you to help you navigate the medical process. Ask that the hospital contact a SACIS sexual assault advocate for you.
- For women, a pelvic exam will be conducted with your permission.
- You will be checked for injuries and can be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and pregnancy.
- Follow up care and treatment is important because you may not know that you have a STI until several weeks or months after it has been transmitted. Follow up testing for STIs is recommended six to eight weeks following an assault and can be completed at EIU Health Services. Pregnancy cannot be determined until two to three weeks after the assault.
- Discuss your concerns about pregnancy and STIs with the doctor. He or she may give you emergency contraceptive pills at the time of the exam. You should receive information on any medication given to you. Make sure you know the name, dosage, purpose, and possible side effects of any medication you receive.
- Some perpetrators may use drugs to physically control their victims and render them defenseless. If you believe that you were drugged, inform your doctor. Blood or urine tests may detect the presence of drugs in your system; however, testing should be done as soon as possible because some drugs can only be detected within six to eight hours after entering your system.
- With your permission, the doctor will complete a rape evidence kit and also collect other physical evidence of rape (samples of body fluids, hair, fingernail scrapings) to be turned over to police.
- Hospital personnel are required to contact police when they provide treatment for injuries resulting from a crime. Though police will come to the hospital, you do not have to talk with the police. If you speak with the police they may want to retain your clothing as evidence. You may take a change of clothing with you to the hospital, or the hospital can provide you with a change of clothing.