After an experience of unwanted sexual contact, you may consider seeking medical treatment, such as:
- STI treatment and testing and/or discussing the risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with a health professional
- Preventive treatment for certain STIs can be most effective within 1-3 days of the sexual contact
- Find more information about post-exposure prophylaxis (preventative treatment for HIV) such as where to find it and how to pay for it
- Forensic exam to collect potential physical evidence and determine additional necessary treatment (also called a sexual assault forensic exam, or ‘rape kit’)
- A forensic exam may be conducted up to 5 days after the incident
- To preserve evidence one should not shower, bathe, brush teeth, or change clothes before visiting a hospital for a forensic exam
- Learn more about the Forensic Exam
- Discussing the risks of pregnancy resulting from a sexual assault and/or contraception methods and alternatives with a health professional
Having someone with you
You can have a support person or people of your choice such as a friend, family member, or advocate accompany you throughout the medical care process. You can also contact the Title IX Coordinator at 716-888-2130 during business hours or Crisis Services at 716-834-3131 after hours to request someone to come with you.
Student Health Services
2001 Main St.
Lower Level Frisch Hall
MASH Urgent Care
9am-7pm M-F, 9am-5pm S-S
3980 Sheridan Dr.
Sister’s of Charity Hospital
2157 Main St.
What is it?
The Sexual Assault Forensic Exam, also called a ‘rape kit’, is an exam that checks for and documents physical evidence of sexual battery, sexual assault, or rape, and may be conducted up to 5 days after the incident. The State of New York recommends that you do this within 48 hours of the incident. To best preserve evidence, one should not bathe, shower, brush teeth, or go to the bathroom until after the forensic exam. Evidence from a forensic exam can be used in prosecuting sexual assault cases through the criminal justice system.
Where can I get a forensic exam?
Sisters of Charity Hospital
2157 Main St.
How forensic exams work:
A sexual assault nurse examiner, (SANE) or doctor will begin the exam by asking about your medical history and health, and may ask about characteristics or details of the assault. A physical exam will be performed and samples from various parts of the body may be collected to test for DNA. A toxicology test may also be done to test for drugs in the system, and clothing may be kept as evidence. At the hospital they may ask for your insurance, however, there is no charge for a rape kit and you do not need to provide insurance.
Will the police be notified that I got a forensic exam?
When you request a forensic exam, the SANE will notify the Buffalo Police Department as well as Crisis Services. An officer and an advocate will both arrive at the hospital. You can refuse to speak with the police if you choose to. You can also speak with the police without pressing charges.
How forensic exams are used:
After the exam, the doctor or nurse will document the findings in a medical record, which can later be subpoenaed to assist in the legal process. Your medical record will be saved with the police department for 5 years.
Having someone with you:
You can have a support person (or people) of your choice such as a friend, family member, or advocate accompany you throughout the medical care process. You can also call Crisis Services at 716-834-3131 24/7 to speak with someone confidentially and request someone to accompany you to receive medical care.