The following information details what a person can anticipate if they go to the hospital for medical attention following a sexual assault. It is always the choice of the individual if they choose to go to the hospital for a forensic exam.
The University is not notified of identifying information if a member of the OWU community presents themselves for an exam.
The closest hospital to Ohio Wesleyan University:
Grady Memorial Hospital
Address: 561 W Central Ave, Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: (740) 615-1000
Individuals can obtain a confidential, no cost, collection of medical evidence exam through OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital's Emergency Room.
Call (740) 615-1165 for more information or for directions to the hospital.
If a person needs transportation to the hospital, they may contact Public Safety via phone (740) 368-2222 and request transportation. There is no need to disclose the need for going to the hospital.
Going to the hospital to get a sexual assault forensic exam is most important for your health and well-being. Sexual assault can affect your physical health. You may have injuries and trauma related to the assaults that aren’t immediately visible. During an exam you may be able to access treatment for these injuries, receive preventative treatment for STIs, and obtain emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.
DNA evidence from a crime like sexual assault can be collected from the crime scene, but it can also be collected from your body, clothes, and other personal belongings. You may choose to have a sexual assault forensic exam, sometimes known as a “rape kit,” to preserve possible DNA evidence and receive important medical care. You don’t have to report the crime to have an exam, but the process gives you the chance to safely store evidence should you decide to report at a later time.
Why should you consider having a sexual assault medical forensic exam?
- It won’t cost you. You will not be charged for the exam. However, you could be charged for injuries, like a broken arm, that may have happened during the assault.
- You can have time to decide if you want to report. The decision to report the crime is entirely yours. It may take some time to decide what to do. Having a sexual assault forensic exam ensures that the forensic evidence will be safely preserved if you decide to report at a later time.
- It increases the likelihood of prosecution. The importance of DNA evidence in sexual assault cases cannot be overstated. Even if the perpetrator is not prosecuted, their DNA may be added to the national database, making it easier to connect the perpetrator to a future crime.
- Your health matters. Sexual assault can affect your physical health. You may have injuries and trauma related to the assaults that aren’t immediately visible. During an exam you may be able to access treatment for these injuries, receive preventative treatment for STIs, and obtain emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Who will be there?
A Sexual Assault Nurse examiner (SANE) will perform the exam and an advocate from Helpline’s Sexual Assault Response Network will be present to support you through the process. It is your right to have an advocate present for support, but it is also your right to decline advocacy services.
What is a rape kit?
The term rape kit actually refers to the kit itself—a container that includes a checklist, materials, and instructions, along with envelopes and containers to package any specimens collected during the exam. The contents of the kit may include:
- Bags and paper sheets for evidence collection
- Documentation forms
- Materials for blood samples
Preparing for a sexual assault forensic exam
If you are able to, try to avoid activities that could potentially damage evidence such as:
- Using the restroom
- Changing clothes
- Combing hair
- Cleaning up the area
It’s natural to want to do these things after a traumatic experience. If you have done any of these activities, you can still have an exam performed. You may want to bring a spare change of clothes with you to the hospital or health facility where you’re going to have the exam.
How long is the exam?
The length of the exam may take a few hours, but the actual time will vary based on several different factors. It may be helpful to have someone to support you during this time. An advocate from Helpline’s Sexual Assault Response Network will accompany you during the actual exam.
What happens during a sexual assault forensic exam?
You can stop, pause, or skip a step at any time during the exam. It is entirely your choice.
- Immediate care. If you have injuries that need immediate attention, those will be taken care of first.
- History. You will be asked about your current medications, pre-existing conditions, and other questions pertaining to your health history. Some of the questions, such as those about recent consensual sexual activity, may seem very personal, but these questions are designed to ensure that DNA and other evidence collected from the exam can be connected to the perpetrator. You will also be asked about the details of what has happened to you to help identify all potential areas of injury as well as places on your body or clothes where evidence may be located.
- Head-to-toe examination. The exam may include a full body examination, including internal examinations of the mouth, vagina, and/or anus. It may also include taking samples of blood, urine, swabs of body surface areas, and sometimes hair samples. The trained professional performing the exam may take pictures of your body to document injuries and the examination. With your permission, they may also collect items of clothing, including undergarments.
- Possible mandatory reporting. If you are a minor, the person performing the exam may be obligated to report it to law enforcement.
- Follow up care. You may be offered prevention treatment for STIs and other forms of medical care that require a follow up appointment with a medical professional. The SANE and HelpLine advocate can provide information or resources about reporting options.
Who can perform the exam?
All hospitals and stand alone emergency departments in Delaware county have someone on staff that is specially trained to perform a sexual assault forensic exam and interact with recent survivors of sexual assault. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are registered nurses who receive specialized education and fulfill clinical requirements to perform the exam.