If you have experienced sexual violence, you may choose to have a sexual assault forensic exam preformed, sometimes known as a “rape kit,” to preserve possible DNA evidence and receive important medical care. You may accept or decline any and all parts of an exam or suggested treatment. Providers will assist you to make choices about your care. Patients who are 18 years or older do not have to report to police or press charges to get a forensics/sexual assault exam. You have 1 year to decide whether or not to have law enforcement process the kit.
A forensic medical examination may include evidence collection up to 120 hours (5 days) after a sexual assault. If it is more than 5 days since the assault, there are still services available to you.
Sexual assault forensic exams provide patients both medical care and evidence collection after incidents of sexual violence. Forensic nurses exstensively trained in trauma-informed care and evidence collection will provide one-on-one patient care for forensic medical examinations which may include:
There are three locations in the greater New Orleans area that provide forensic exams. Regardless of where you go, Tulane students may call the Student Affairs Professional on Call (SAPOC) at 504-920-9900 for a ride to the clinic and/or a professional staff member to accompany them. The New Orleans Family Justice Center is available 24/7 at 504-866-9554 and can also provide confidential transportation assistance to both Tulane students and employees.
The NOFJC also hosts a forensic program and clinic for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, the HOPE Clinic. HOPE clinic offers forensic medical exams in a private, trauma-informed setting for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and non-fatal strangulation. Forensic exams include a health checkup, evidence collection, documentation of any injuries and preventative medications for STIs, pregnancy and HIV when applicable.
The forensic program and clinic serve survivors of 18 and older. If a survivor reports recent strangulation or loss of consciousness (associated with the assault), shows signs of severe injury, acute intoxication, altered level of consciousness, medical, or psychiatric concerns, the Family Justice Center will refer the survivor to University Medical Center or the hospital of their choice.
University Medical Center New Orleans (UMCNO) provides trauma-informed care in a safe environment after an assault, including FREE forensic medical examination. 24/7 Forensic Services are provided at UMCNO for ages 15 & up by physicians and specially trained forensic nurses. The Forensic Program is located at University Medical Center New Orleans in the Emergency Department. To access service, please come to the 2nd Floor of the Emergency Department and request a forensic consult.
Anyone age 15 years and older, regardless of gender, location of the crime, where they live, or if there is police involvement, can be seen at Tulane-Lakeside Hospital by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) who are available 24/7. The SANEs can collect forensic evidence, offer information about legal and medical options, provide STI screening as well as STI and pregnancy prevention medication, evaluate for injuries and illnesses, and provide referrals for follow up care.