Medical Care if You Are Sexual Assaulted
It is important that you seek medical care whether or not you choose to report the crime to the police. Do not douche, bathe, shower, change your clothes, comb your hair, brush your teeth, or change anything about yourself before your medical examination, as these may destroy valuable medical evidence that will be lost. If a date rape drug is suspected, it is vital to obtain blood and/or urine samples as soon as possible. Remember that you are the crime scene!
The State of Indiana has two funds, which may cover expenses incurred due to a sexual assault. The hospital will file a claim form for the Sex Crime Victim Service's Fund and submit the application on your behalf. Reimbursement for other related expenses may be obtained by filing a claim with the Violent Crime Compensation Fund for consideration.
You can request that the police be called to the medical care facility to take the initial report.
Before the exam you will be asked to sign a consent form to allow the hospital staff to examine and treat you, administer medication, and to release information to the police. The doctor will do a complete exam to check all body parts for injury. A pelvic exam will follow. Certain physical evidence (such as the presence of sperm) is best collected within 72 hours of the attack. If you have never had a pelvic exam, tell the doctor or nurse. Pictures may be taken if there is noticeable trauma to the external body.
Give yourself permission to get your needs met. Express your feelings, ask questions. The exams may be scary since you probably don't want to be touched right now. If you don't understand the doctor or nurse, ask. You have a right to know. You may be required to give the clothes you were wearing to the police for examination. Some hospitals will provide clothing for you to wear when you leave.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It is virtually impossible to tell immediately after a sexual assault if you have contracted any sexually transmitted diseases or have become pregnant. If you have any questions or concerns about STDs, ask the doctor; he or she can prescribe preventive medication at the time of the exam. Even if you receive preventive treatment, you should be tested for STDs two weeks after the attack, and again in six weeks. There is also a preventive pregnancy medication available that can be given at the time of the exam. This must be done within 72 hours of the assault to be effective.