If you are sexually assaulted, it is highly recommended you receive a medical and forensic examination at a hospital emergency department, even if you feel you have not been physically injured. Do not bathe, shower, douche, brush your teeth or change clothes, and if possible, do not urinate.The forensic exam is best done at a hospital with a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. Aurora Lakeland Hospital in Elkhorn has such a program. Police do not need to be notified and the evidence may be stored at the hospital until you decide whether or not to report to the police Other resources
The forensic exam is important should you decide to report the incident to the police. Having the available evidence collected by a forensic exam keeps your options open. The evidence needs to be collected as soon as possible and once it is lost the case will be harder to prosecute. Evidence deteriorates rapidly, but some evidence may be able to be collected up to 120 hours later. The forensic exam will also document injuries or abrasions, both internal and external. Some are too small to be seen with the naked eye or felt by the survivor but will be importanat in court to prove a sexual assault took place. You may also need to be tested for a drug that was given to you without your consent or knowledge.
Take along a change of clothes. Your clothing may need to be kept as evidence until the case is closed. Aurora Lakeland Hospital, University Police, or Whitewater Police may be able to supply you with toiletries and a change of clothes (sweat suit and undergarments).
In Wisconsin, victim compensation or the SAFE fund pays for the forensic exam.
OF THE FORENSIC EXAM FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
The exam will take several hours. At Lakeland Hospital, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) perform the exam. At other hospitals it may be an emergency department nurse or doctor. You can and should question any procedure that is unclear to you.
is this testing for?
A number of substances may be used to facilitate a sexual assault. These substances cause drowsiness, memory loss and a lack of muscle coordination and confusion, especially if combined with alcohol.
Should The Sample Be Collected?
The urine sample should be collected from the victim immediately to increase the likelihood that the drug will be detected. The amount of drug in the victim's urine at any particular time depends on the person's metabolism, the amount of drug consumed, and the length of time that elapsed since the drug was ingested. Many drugs are eliminated after 24 hours, but some can be detected up to 72 hours later.
Should The Sample Be Collected?
To maintain proper chain of custody of the evidence it is best to have the tests done as part of a forensic exam in a hospital emergency department. Otherwise the results may not be admissible in court. If you can not wait until you get to the hospital, collect your urine in a clean container and keep it with you until ou hand it over to the SANE nurse.
If you choose not to have a forensic exam, seek medical care because you may need treatment for injuries, Sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and testing for or medication to prevent pregnancy (emergency contraception must be given within 72 hours of the assault).
The University Health and Counseling Service can provide services to UW-Whitewater students. They provide treatment for injuries, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, medication to prevent pregnancy, pregnancy testing and anonymous HIV testing during their clinic hours. They do not collect forensic evidence.
There is no charge for the exam only the tests, and medications. The charges are considerably less than at a hospital emergency department but usually range from $50 - $125. If you are on the Family Planning Waiver program and have a Forward card, there will be no charge to you. If you are not on the Family Planning Waiver Program and seek care within 2 weeks of the assault, the SARTeam medical fund may be able to cover these expenses. Ask your doctor or nurse to check for you. Otherwise you may pay for them with cash or check, or use purple points or put them on your student bill. The staff is specially trained in the health concerns of college students, including sexual assault.
Professional counseling is provided for no charge at the University Health and Counseling Service.
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