Medical Care for Sexual Assault or Sexual Violence

It's your decision whether to seek medical care. You may seek medical care without reporting the crime to the police.

If your assault occurred within the last 5 days, our on-campus Health Services Office encourages you to visit one of the resources listed below, which are equipped with the services you need. Our health staff are here to help should you need follow-up care.

Remember to preserve evidence, if possible, prior to seeking medical care. Do not shower, bathe, douche, brush your teeth, or throw away any clothing that might contain evidence of the assault. Save articles of clothing, bedding, etc., in separate paper bags and bring them to the hospital or give them to the police. (Try not to use plastic bags, because they can damage evidence.)

Try to seek medical care within the first 72 hours—although examinations may be done up to 5 days after an assault.

  • Go to the hospital emergency department for treatment of injuries, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases—including HIV—and pregnancy, and crisis intervention and emotional support services.
  • Physical evidence for medical and legal services can also be collected at this time. A toxicology kit can be completed that may be able to detect “rape drugs.” If you want evidence collected, you must go to the emergency department within 5 days of the incident.
  • A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) exam can be done to collect any evidence and is free of charge. SANE/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner sites in the area:

During the SANE/Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner exam, a rape crisis counselor from the Women's Center in New Bedford can be available to support you.

The Women's Center
24-Hour Hotline: 508.999.6636 (508.99WOMEN)
Office: 508.996.3343

405 County Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
www.thewomenscentersc.com

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