University Health Services is here to support you. If you are in immediate danger, call 911 or 412-268-6232 if on campus (If you are injured or need immediate medical treatment, go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Following a sexual assault, consider whether or not to complete a forensic exam.
Forensic Evidence Collection (i.e., SART Exam, “Rape Kit”)
What is a forensic exam?
A forensic exam can do two things:
- provide sensitive, thorough medical care after a sexual assault including physical exam and medication to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy if applicable
- collect evidence that is admissible in court and may be helpful to the prosecution of a legal case, in the case that you decide to report to law enforcement
Medical providers at rape treatment centers have specialized training in providing medical care and sexual assault forensic examinations for survivors. They will help you understand your options for care and can provide referrals to other services you may need.
Other terms you may hear for the forensic exam include sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exam, medical-legal exam, sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) exam, sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) exam, “rape kit," or "rape exam.”
How do I get a forensic exam?
Go directly to UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital. This hospital provides SART exams for people of all genders.
UPMC Magee Emergency Room: 300 Craft Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15213, 412-641-4950
Before the Exam.
In order to preserve evidence, individuals are advised not to shower, wash, wipe, change clothes or brush their teeth prior to the exam, if possible.
During the Exam.
A specially trained SART nurse will assess any physical injuries or trauma and collect evidence that may have resulted from the assault that can possibly be used by law enforcement. The nurse will provide testing and treatment for prevention of sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) and pregnancy, as well as directions for follow-up medical care.
You do not need to make a police report to complete a forensic exam. Although medical personnel are required by Pennsylvania law to report to the police instances in which a SART process is initiated, you have the right to choose not to report a sexual assault to law enforcement or participate in an investigation, as well as the right to change your mind at a later time. Both the nurse and certified advocates can provide more information about these options.
Medical Evaluation, Treatment and Follow Up (Without Evidence Collection)
CMU Health Services offers another option for students if they choose not to have forensic evidence collected at the hospital. Options for medical care at UHS include physical evaluation, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), and emergency contraception. Appointments can be made by calling 412-268-2157, option 2. Outside of clinic hours, students can reach UHS on-call support for urgent medical advice at the same number.
UHS is required by law to report sexual or relationship violence to the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX. If the patient prefers, this report may be anonymous and not contain any identifying information. Students can talk with medical staff about any concerns they have about the incident being reported.