|THE SEXUAL ASSAULT EXAM AND PERK|
Will I Have Any Control in Making Decisions Regarding My Care And Treatment in The Emergency Room?
The medical staff cannot examine you or collect physical evidence without your permission. They need your signed consent for the examination and to give the evidence kit to the police.
Remember, you have the right to refuse any part of the examination or treatment and to ask any questions you may have about any aspect of your care. All procedures should be explained so that you understand why and how they are done; if not, it's OK to ask the nurse or doctor to explain what they are doing. This may help you maintain some feeling of control during the medical procedures.
The Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK)
This kit is designed to assist the examining clinician and nurse in the collection of evidence (specimens) for analysis by the Virginia Division of Forensic Science. If the assault took place within 72 hours of the time of the medical exam, this kit can be used.
Physical evidence to check for semen from oral and/or anal penetration can be collected only within the next 24 hours.
If the sexual assault occurred more than the 24 or 72 hours prior to the medical exam, evidence may still be collected without the specific kit being used.
Before the medical exam, you will be asked details of the assault. Even though these questions may seem very personal and difficult to answer, the information you give may be helpful in identifying the assailant, in providing you with optimal care, and in documenting the assault.
Information is needed regarding the type of assault or penetration, such as oral, vaginal, or anal. You will be asked where the the assault occurred, such as in a car, on grass or carpet, etc.
The medical staff will need information about your medical history regarding past and present health conditions, including date of your last period, contraceptive history and the date of your most recent voluntary sexual contact with a man.