I have been assaulted. Do I need medical services?
If you have been assaulted, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible. Your need for treatment is, and should be considered, an emergency even if there are no visible signs of physical injury. Taking care of your health at this time is an important step in the healing process and could provide you with more options later. It is important to seek medical care in order to:
o Be examined and treated for any injuries.
o Be treated for possible exposure to sexually transmitted diseases.
o Discuss the risk of pregnancy and talk about options
o Collect time-sensitive physical evidence for use should you decide now or later to report the assault to the police for possible prosecution of the offender.
I would like medical services. Where can I go?
Go to the Emergency Room at Rancho Springs Medical Center, 25500 Medical Center Drive, in Murrieta, CA. The staff strive to treat patients with respect and empathy and are especially equipped to mobilize resources. Victims who have been assaulted can receive many services at the Circle of SAFE-T, including treatment for sexually transmitted infections, a pregnancy test, and emergency contraception.
In the Southwest Riverside County area, the Circle of SAFE-T Center at RSMC can examine, treat for injuries, and collect evidence after an assault on a 24-hour basis for patients ages 12 and up.
What if I need transportation to the hospital?
If a friend or family member isn't available, you can call 911 for police transportation to the hospital.
Do I need to do anything before I go to the hospital?
o It is important not to change clothes (you can bring a change of clothes with you), shower or bathe, drink, eat, smoke, brush your teeth or use the bathroom unless absolutely necessary before the forensic-medical exam. These actions could destroy physical evidence.
o If you've changed your clothes since the assault, place the clothes you wore at the time of the assault in a paper bag (plastic can destroy evidence). Bring them with you to the emergency room. Let your nurse or doctors know you have them, and tell them if you have done anything else (washed, ate, etc.) before you arrived. This will assist them in making their report.
Will I have any control in making decisions regarding my care and treatment?
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 you are confused, it is okay to ask the nurse or doctor to explain what they are doing.
What is a SART Kit?
The SART Kit is used to collect physical evidence from a person who has been sexually assaulted. The SART kti is conducted by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner(SANE) or a forensic nurse, and is treated as evidence in a criminal investigation.
I am not sure if I want to report this to the police or press charges. Can I still have a SART kit done?
At the hospital, a person has the option of requesting a SART kit without filing a report, talking with the police or being liable for payment. Having a SART kit done will allow survivors a greater range of options later. Speaking with an advocate or SART nurse may help you understand this process a little better.
I Have Been Sexually Assaulted. What can I do to feel safe again?
Survivors of sexual assault often feel afraid. These fears are normal, and each person will need his/her own time to heal and to feel safe again.
Here are some suggestions:
* Consider staying with a close friend or supportive relative
* Talk with an advocate to develop a safety plan
* Consider sharing your safety plan with a trusted friend
* Ask friends to accompany you so you do not have to walk alone