Rape Kit Examination
A rape kit examination, otherwise known as sexual assault forensic exam, is a way for survivors to obtain medical care and preserve potential DNA evidence. In October 2016, President Obama passed the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act, which focuses on collecting and preserving rape kits. Obtaining a rape kit examination provides benefits such as immediate medical treatment (some wounds are not immediately visible) and an increased likelihood of prosecution.
Here are the five most important things to know about rape kit examination:
- Cost: Free of charge
- Preservation of rape kits: Rape kits must be preserved until the applicable statutes of limitations run out
- Your rights: Once the kit is tested, you have the right to be informed of results such as a DNA profile match
- Time frame: It is recommended that you seek a rape kit examination within 72 hours of the assault
- Where to get a rape kit examination: Most emergency departments are able to provide rape kit examination; however, we encourage you to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.4653 to be connected with a local sexual assault service provider. They may be also able to provide an advocate to support you and accompany you to the examination.
If you would like to learn more about rape kit examinations and the historic bill of rights for sexual assault survivors, please click on the links below:
- What is a Rape Kit - RAINN
- Receiving Medical Attention - RAINN
- Obama Just Signed a Bill of Rights for Sexual Assault Survivors - Mother Jones