Going to the hospital

After a sexual assault, you may choose to go to a hospital emergency room. At the hospital, you may be offered the following options:

  • Immediate attention for medical issues that result from the assault.
  • Testing and possible preventative treatment against sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) and pregnancy.
  • A rape exam for the collection of evidence. You don't have to decide right away what to do with the evidence collected.
  • The option to report to the police. You can to the emergency room whether you choose to report to the police or not.

Emergency room staff may ask you a few questions about why you are visiting the ER to determine whether you want a rape exam performed and what kind of injuries you may have. Any physical injuries should be treated before a rape exam is started.

If you decide to have a rape exam, the SANE nurse (sexual assault nurse examiner) or other medical professional will be called to perform the exam.

You have the right to refuse any medical treatment, including the rape exam, when you go to the hospital.

If you are a survivor who is under 18, over 60, or disabled, it is important to understand the hospital's mandated reporting requirements. Please call the hotline - 1.800.841.8371 - to find out more.


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