Seeking medical treatment immediately after a sexual assault is very important, even if you choose not to report the crime. Ensuring your physical health and well-being can be the first step to regaining a sense of control.
In Johnson County, you can receive medical treatment at Western Missouri Medical Center located at 403 Burkarth Road in Warrensburg. You can receive treatment from specially-trained nurses and emergency room staff in a private room. You may also have a friend or loved one in the room during any medical procedures.
Western Missouri Medical Center has an emergency room staff that can provide:
- Full medical evaluations and checks for any injuries
- Testing for sexually transmitted diseases
- Testing for pregnancy
- Evidence collection
If you have just been sexually assaulted, it is helpful for you to take measures to ensure that evidence of the crime is preserved. This way, evidence can be collected correctly during the sexual assault exam in case you decide to report the assault. You may also want to bring extra clothes to change into after the exam.
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Try Not to:
- Change clothes
- Use the bathroom
- Brush your teeth
Advocates are available to help you through this process. If you would like one to meet you at the hospital, call CPS or Lighthouse Services at 660-543-4060 and select option #1. Our advocates receive extensive sexual assault response training and provide supportive, nonjudgmental and confidential support throughout hospital and reporting procedures.
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The Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit
At the hospital you will have the opportunity to have an exam during which evidence is collected specific to your sexual assault. The exam is conducted by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) who has received specialized training in completing the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit. The exam takes about 3 hours to complete, and it is always your choice whether or not to have the exam.
Even if you do want to report the sexual assault to law enforcement, having this exam is beneficial for ensuring your physical health. It is also beneficial if you later decide to proceed with the reporting process.
The sexual assault exam will be paid for by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. You may be responsible for other portions of your medical care (general physical, pregnancy testing, etc.), which may be eligible for Crime Victim’s Compensation. Your advocate can explain these financial issues in more detail.
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During the exam:
- A SANE will obtain your consent before proceeding with the examination.
- If at any time you wish to stop or take a break, just ask. You may also refuse any portion of the exam.
- You have the right to ask people (other than medical personnel) to leave the room at any time.
- You will be asked a variety of questions about your medical history and current health, similar to those you would be asked as if you were there for any type of medical visit.
- You will be asked a variety of questions about the assault. You will be asked what fluids were exchanged and what parts of your body were touched. Although it may be difficult or embarrassing to answer these questions, it is important to answer them truthfully. Being honest with the nurse ensures that you will receive the best medical treatment and that something will not be overlooked.
- You will be asked to disrobe and your clothes may be taken as evidence. Other clothes will be made available to you after the exam. You may also call or ask a friend or loved one to bring extra clothes to you at the hospital or ask the advocate to do this for you.
- The nurse will scan your body for wounds, bruises, cuts, etc, and treat them appropriately.
- Evidence/samples will be collected from multiple locations on your body. These may include your mouth, genitals, hair and fingernails.
- If you are female, you will have a pelvic examination to assess and treat injuries and collect evidence.
- Blood and urine samples will also be taken.
- If you have been under the influence, you have the right to request a blood alcohol content/drug test. This may help to determine if you were unable to give consent prior to the assault. The hospital does not administer this test without a request from you unless it is medically necessary.
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After the Exam:
- The evidence collected from your exam will be coded by number and stored at a local law enforcement agency. Your name will not be marked in any way on the evidence, and the hospital will be the only agency able to connect your name to the evidence. If you choose to proceed with the criminal reporting process, you will sign a release form to allow the hospital to release information pertaining to your exam.
- You may be asked if you would like to report the crime to law enforcement. At this point, you will have the option to proceed directly to a law enforcement agency to begin this process.