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Time Sensitive Information

The first few days after a sexual assault can be a very confusing time. You may have questions and be faced with difficult decisions. During this time you may not want or be ready to make many of these decisions. This is normal and okay.

The sooner you get to the hospital after an assault, the greater your options will be.

Within 5 days or 120 hours of an assault:

  • Preventative treatments for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are more effective.
  • Evidence collection is an option. You do not need to report to the police to have evidence collected but, if you do have evidence collected, you may have more options in the future.
  • Toxicology testing is available within the first 96 hours after an assault if there are signs that drugs or alcohol may have facilitated the assault.

Anytime after 5 days or 120 hours of an assault:

It is best to visit your own primary healthcare provider or a health clinic for care. If you need help locating health care, contact your local Rape Crisis Center.

  • If eligible, you have the right to apply for Victim Compensation for certain expenses, such as medical, counseling, or lost wages acquired as a direct result of the crime.
Forensics for Survivors © 2015 All Rights Reserved

This project was supported by Grant #2009-WF-AX-0014 awarded by the Violence Against Women Grants Office, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety & Security Office of Grants & Research and subgranted to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Points of view in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety Programs Division.


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