Forensic Exam: To obtain a free forensic exam also known as a Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exam, contact campus advocate, Valley Crisis Center, or law enforcement. A forensic exam is initiated by law enforcement. The forensic exam collects evidence for a criminal investigation. An advocate can provide assistance with this process and provide transportation and accompaniment to the exam. The exam is time sensitive.
Confidential Victim (Jane/John Doe SART kit): This kit is collected like a regular SART exam and is also free. The kit is ordered by Law Enforcement but the survivor does not have to release personal information or participate in the investigation process if they want to remain anonymous or are not ready to report. Law enforcement will provide them with a case number and store the kit until the survivors decide to press charges. For more information, contact the campus advocate.
What Happens During a SART Exam?
- Remember, you have the right to refuse any part of the exam at any time.
- The advocate can explain the process of the exam as well as your rights and choices. It is your choice whether the advocate stays with you in the exam room, waits in the waiting area, or leaves.
- If previously declined an advocate, or chose not to have an advocate accompany you to an exam, you can still request an advocate at any time during the process. The advocate will meet you at the facility.
- The medical examiner will explain the exam and you will be asked to provide informed consent.
- You will be asked to describe the events of the assault, possibly in the form of your own narrative or an interview. These answers will then direct the course of the medical exam.
- The exam begins with a general health check: blood pressure, heart rate, looking at your eyes, ears, nose, etc.
- Physical evidence is collected from head to toe, in the form of hair and oral swabs, to identify both your DNA and that of the person who assaulted you. A lamp is used to look for evidence of semen or saliva.
- A pelvic exam may be done. Initially, the medical examiner will look at external genitalia and may do an internal exam (vaginal or anal, depending on the assault). You have the right to stop the exam at any moment if it becomes too physically or emotionally painful.
- Photographs may be taken of physical evidence (e.g. bruises, lacerations, tears), but these photographs are focused on such a small part of your body and attached to only your SART kit case number so that your identity will not be able to be inferred from any photographic evidence.
- Once all the evidence is collected, it becomes part of a SART kit that is signed over to the police. When the police finish their investigation, the evidence is turned over to the District Attorney’s Office.
- The District Attorney’s office will make a decision regarding the case. If the case moves forward and enters criminal court, you may be called to speak in court as a witness.
Locations of SART Exams:
Family Healing Center
Memorial Hospital Los Banos
|N Chestnut Ave||West I Street|
|Fresno, CA 93720||Los Banos, CA, 93635|