If something has happened to you within the past 7 days, you will be given the option to have an examination, which can help to preserve any evidence. We can offer this even if you don’t want to involve the Police at the moment but feel that you might want to in the future.
The examination will be carried out by one of our specially trained nurse examiners, and you will be supported by one of our Support Workers throughout. Each stage will be explained to you beforehand so you are clear about what is involved and why it is required. We will ensure that you agree to everything before it is carried out. You can stop or pause at any point.
What does a Forensic Medical Examination involve?
There are three parts to the examination, which the SARC team will work through 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. 1. The nurse will normally start with a medical history, this allows them 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 genital 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 evidence from the skin, such as hair, urine and other bodily fluids, using a small cotton swab
Internal checks, if necessary (i.e. penis and anus, as required)
We may also suggest that we keep your clothing (especially underwear).
3. Finally, there is a discussion about any treatment you might need to make sure that your health is properly looked after.
The SARC team will be on hand to support you as much as you need throughout your time at the centre. We don’t pretend that an examination is a pleasant experience, but your Forensic Nurse Examiner and Support Worker will do all they can to make the examination as comfortable for you as possible.