You might be feeling anxious or worried about the thought of having a medical examination but our crisis workers and doctors will do their best to put you at ease. They will take time to explain what the medical examination will involve and you will always be in control of what happens.
The examination will be offered to you if you have been assaulted within 7-10 days. Sometimes it may be helpful to have a forensic examination even if the assault happened longer than 10 days ago.
The examination is important because we want to look after your medical needs as well as collecting forensic evidence. Any samples taken are carefully collected, labelled and stored and can be used in court as evidence.
A qualified forensic doctor carries out the examination. We understand that you might feel uncomfortable, but every effort is made to make sure you understand what is happening to you. You can stop at any time and the crisis worker will be with you throughout. You can choose to have someone else with you as well if you wish, for example a friend or relative.
The examination will cover a number of points and may include:
- Asking about your past medical history.
- Checking you for injuries.
- Deciding with you if emergency contraception (morning after pill or coil) is needed.
- Deciding with you if any treatment is needed to help reduce the chances of you developing HIV or Hepatitis B infection from this assault.
- Deciding with you what forensic samples should be taken.
The forensic examination can seem frightening. It is not unusual to feel worried about it. Please remember that we will support you and take it at your own pace. You can stop it at any time. It may take a while, depending on the samples required and we will discuss this with you fully before we start.
Our main concern will be you and we make sure that you are treated with dignity and respect at all times.