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Immediate Care

Go to University Hospital Emergency Department for a medical/forensic exam

If you suspect you or someone you know has recently experienced partner violence/abuse and/or sexual violence and need immediate help please access services through the University Health Care Emergency Department. If you would like to press charges against the perpetrator now or in the future, it is helpful to have a forensic exam as soon as possible after the incident.

If you are considering a forensic exam, we ask that you

  • Do not urinate if possible. If there is concern about a drug-facilitated sexual assault, the first available urine will be collected at the clinic or emergency department.
  • Do not eat or drink.
  • Do not bathe or brush your teeth.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Bring clothes worn at the time of assault and immediately after assault, especially undergarments. Don’t wash the clothes and store them in a paper bag, if possible. (plastic bags prevent circulation and can destroy evidence)
  • Bring a change of clothing.
  • Bring a support person.

This evidence collection is facilitated by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) in the University Emergency Department. SANE trained nurses are women who have special training in helping survivors of violence. The SANE exam occurs in a private room away from the emergency department.

  • If possible, call the Emergency Department before you leave and explain the situation. 573-882-8091.
  • Even if evidence is collected and injuries are documented during a forensic exam, you may choose to not use the evidence to report the incident to law enforcement or seek criminal charges against the perpetrator. However, if initially you did not want to press charges but later you reconsider, the evidence will be available.
  • SANE trained nurses can also provide medical treatment for injuries that occurred during the incident. They can also test for and/or treat sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
  • If you choose to have an exam, some clothing worn during the assault may be needed as evidence; a clean set of clothing can be provided or you may bring your own clothing change. If you have already removed the clothing worn during that attack, don’t wash the clothes and store them in a paper bag (note that plastic bags prevent circulation and can destroy evidence) and bring them to the SANE exam.
  • A forensic exam can be an invasive and sometimes painful procedure. If you are uncomfortable with the procedure, you are not required to get one. However, staff will help you seek medical attention if your injuries are severe or life-threatening.
  • If the assault did not happen recently, you are encouraged to seek counseling for support, testing for sexually transmitted infections and general medical treatment to help maintain good physical health.