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Seeking Medical Attention and Preserving Evidence

You have the right and are encouraged to seek medical care and assistance. After a physical or sexual assault, you may not know whether or not you have sustained injuries. 

 

Local medical providers can provide emergency and follow-up medical services to address physical well-being or health concerns, and also conduct forensic sexual assault examinations (commonly referred to as a rape kit). A medical exam obtained from a hospital or sexual assault response center serves two purposes: first, to diagnose and treat the full extent of any injury or physical effect including sexually transmitted infection (STI) or the possibility of pregnancy; and, second, to properly collect and preserve evidence. The exam may include testing and prophylactic treatment for HIV/AIDS, STIs, and pregnancy, a vaginal/anal examination, collection of fingernail scrapings and/or clippings, examination for injuries, and blood testing. 

 

You can receive medical attention at any medical facility; however, certain facilities have specially trained staff to help survivors of sexual assault. The following locations have sexual assault forensic examiners:

 

Beth Israel Medical Center, Manhattan 

10 Nathan D Perlman Pl, 

1-212-420-2000

 

Mount Sinai  St. Lukes

Emergency Department

1111 Amsterdam Avenue

NY, NY, 11201

1-212-523-4000

 

NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Brooklyn 

295 Flatbush Avenue Extension

1-718-388-5889

 

North Central Bronx Hospital

Social Work Department, Room 14A03,

3424 Kossuth Avenue

Bronx, NY 10467

1-718-519-3013

 

Lakeside Community Healthcare Urgent Care 

191 S Buena Vista St #150

Burbank, CA 91505

1-818-295-5920

 

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

8700 Beverly Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90048 

1-310-423-3277

 

Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center Rape Treatment Center

1250 16th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90404 

1-424-259-7208

 

Keck Hospital - University of Southern California 

1500 San Pablo Street

Los Angeles, CA 90033

1-800-872-2273

 

Jackson Memorial Hospital, Roxy Bolton Rape Treatment Center 

1611 NW 12th Avenue, Institute Annex, 1st Floor

Miami, FL 33136 

1-305-585-7273

 

Nancy J. Cotterman Center Sexual Assault Treatment Center 

400 NE 4th Street

Fort Lauderdale, FL 3301 

1-954-761-7273

 

 

While there may not be a charge for a rape kit, there may be a charge for medical or counseling services off-campus, and in some cases, insurance may be billed for services. You are encouraged to let the hospital personnel know if you do not want your insurance policyholder to be notified about your access to these services. Victim Service departments and organizations in your state may be able to assist in compensating individuals for health care and counseling services, including emergency funds. More information can found here: 


New York State Office of Victim Services: https://ovs.ny.gov/help-crime-victims or by calling 1-800-247-8035


California Victim Compensation Board: https://victims.ca.gov/victims/howtoapply.aspx 


Florida Crime Victim Services: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/90514096788F88C085256CC50075ACF7 

 
THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESERVING EVIDENCE

Evidence of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking should be preserved as soon as possible, even if you are unsure about reporting to New York Film Academy or filing criminal charges. It is important to preserve evidence to aid in the possibility of a successful criminal prosecution or obtaining a protection order. Evidence may be collected even if you chose not to make a report to law enforcement.

 

There is a limited window of time (typically 72 to 96 hours) following an incident of sexual assault to preserve physical and other forms of evidence. Taking the step to gather evidence immediately does not commit an individual to any course of action. The decision to seek medical attention and gather any evidence will preserve the full range of options to seek resolution through the New York Film Academy’s complaint processes or criminal action, including obtaining a protection order.

 

As time passes, evidence may dissipate or become lost or unavailable, thereby making investigation, possible prosecution, disciplinary proceedings, or obtaining protection from abuse orders related to the incident more difficult. If an individual chooses not to report the incident, he/she/they should consider speaking with the Title IX Coordinator or law enforcement to preserve evidence in the event he/she/they change their mind at a later date.

 

 

If you are thinking about reporting and pursuing legal options, a prompt forensic examination can be crucial.

  • Avoiding drinking, bathing, showering, brushing your teeth using mouthwash, or combing your hair

  • Do not change clothes. If you have already changed clothes, place your clothing or other items (sheets, blankets) in a brown paper bag (a plastic bag may destroy evidence).

  • Go to a hospital emergency department, which has the capability to provide a Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit and medical care for victims of sexual assault, dating violence, or domestic violence.  A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), a healthcare provider trained to provide comprehensive care for a victim, can collect forensic evidence. 

  • If you suspect that you are the victim of a drug-facilitated sexual assault, ask the hospital or clinic where you receive medical care to take a urine sample. Drugs, such as Rohypnol and GHB, are more likely to be detected in urine than in blood. GHB leaves the body in 12 hours.

Physical evidence should be preserved even if you choose not to go to the hospital for a forensic exam. Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Put each item in a separate paper bag (do not use plastic bags). Save all bedding (blankets, sheets) and put each in a separate paper bag. Take photographs of any visible physical injuries (bruising, scratches) for use as evidence. If you report to law enforcement, they may want their own photos as evidence

Evidence such as texts, emails, Facebook posts, chats, pictures, videos, or other forms of electronic communication can be helpful in a college or criminal investigation. Download, save as a PDF, take screenshots, or use other methods to preserve electronic evidence.

 
 
Click here to file an online report or for more information on NYFA’s Title IX Grievance Policy & Procedure and Sexual Misconduct Policy.

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