Sexual Assault Victim Care Options
Points to help Penn State students make the decision between forensic and non-forensic medical care when the incident of concern was less than 96 hours ago.
- Provided at Mount Nittany Medical Center
- Proceed directly to the emergency room or
- Call 911 for an ambulance
- Provides medical evaluation and treatment to address the risk of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, involuntary drugging or injuries related to this incident.
- Specially trained healthcare providers will provide thorough, private, sensitive, confidential care and evidence collection.
- A team approach (Sexual Assault Response Team) is utilized which can include a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate for emotional support, a nurse examiner and a law enforcement officer. A physician is also part of the medical care team.
- Costs for this initial diagnostic evaluation of sexual assault will be covered either through the PA Victims Compensation Program or PSU. PSU will pay for transportation to the ED and one related follow-up evaluation at UHS.
- Provides the opportunity to collect and preserve evidence during a limited window of time (< 96 hours from the incident of concern).
- This is important if the case goes to court, a decision that you and/or the District Attorney can decide about later.
- While a police report would be filed at the ED, you would not be required to speak with police if you prefer not to.
- Filing a police report does not mean that you are choosing to press charges.
- The focus of the police report is the concern of sexual assault. You need not fear that details of your drug or alcohol use would result in charges against you.
- The thoroughness of care does require a time commitment. Four to six hours is not uncommon for this ED evaluation.
- Delays in opting for this care can result in loss of evidence and may affect the ability of the criminal justice system to investigate and prosecute a case.
Medical Care (Non-Forensic)
Can be provided at either Mt. Nittany Medical Center Emergency Department or University Health Services.
Call 814-863-4463, prompt 2 for UHS Advice Nurse.
- Provides medical evaluation and treatment to address risk of pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, involuntary drugging or injuries related to this incident.
- Specially trained healthcare providers will provide private, sensitive, confidential care.
- PSU will pay for first diagnostic evaluation of sexual assault and one related follow-up exam at UHS.
- Affords the opportunity to document evidence found incidentally at the time of medical evaluation.
- This exam does not include collection of DNA evidence to specifically assist in an investigation.
- This documentation may prove inadequate if legal action is pursued in court.
- Police are not usually notified unless there are inordinate injuries, you desire to report, a weapon is used during the assault, the assault was conducted by a stranger, or you are under 18 years of age.
- You still retain the option of filing a police report at any later date.
- Delays in reporting or talking to the police, especially extended delays, can result in loss of evidence and may affect the ability of the criminal justice system to investigate and prosecute a case.
A Time-Sensitive Decision
- Time is of the essence when considering this decision.
- You may stop the medical or forensic exam at any time or decline specific components of the exam.
In an emergency go to Mount Nittany Medical Center or call 911 for an ambulance.
Seek immediate care by contacting the advice nurse at 814-863-4463.
Approved by the UHS Patient Education Committee Revised 05/22/18