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Forensic medical examination

The examination will be offered to you if you have been assaulted in the last seven days.

You might be feeling anxious or worried about having an examination but your Crisis Worker and the Forensic Nurse Examiner will take time to put you at ease, explain what will happen and answer any questions you may have. You are more than welcome to have someone else in the room to support you during the examination, such as a friend or relative

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 whether you choose to report to the police now or at a later date. Samples can be stored for up to eight years.

There are three parts to the examination; we will work through these with you to make sure you are clear about what each part is for. You can stop or pause at any time during the examination, the important thing is that you are comfortable with the process. 

The three steps are as follows:

  1. We will normally start with a medical history; this allows us to get a clear picture of your overall health including any medications you are currently taking.
  2. Next is a head to toe examination, which may include an internal examination. We will talk you through the different evidence which we can collect, depending on what has happened this may include: 
  • Making a note of any injuries (bruises, cuts and scrapes) 
  • Collecting urine, hair and possibly a blood sample  
  • An internal check up (like a smear test for women) to take samples
  • We may also suggest that we keep your clothing (such as underwear) 

       3. Finally there is a discussion about any emergency contraception or other treatment you might need to make sure that your health is
           properly looked after.