We know that making decisions about what to do next can be hard. Pohutukawa and the crisis support services can help you with this. If the sexual assault has occurred in the last 7 days, some options are below.
If you decide to have medical help this is what we can offer you
- You can have a forensic examination and talk to the police about what happens next
- You can have a “Just In Case” examination if you haven’t decided about proceeding with a police complaint just yet. That’s totally ok – we can store your evidence in a secure place until you make a decision.
- You can have a medical examination (hyperlink to Past Assault Page) only, without police involvement.
Remember that talking to the police is entirely up to you.
How to get seen for a forensic examination
There are many ways to access our services.
- Contact the police (this does not mean that you have to make a formal complaint)
- Contact a crisis support service (hyperlink to How do I contact crisis services? in FAQs)
- Ask your GP, Family Planning clinic, or Sexual Health clinic to refer you
- Ask the hospital or urgent care clinic to refer you
- Phone us at 0800739432 select Option 2
What to do while waiting for an examination
Forensic evidence is time dependant. This means, the sooner you are seen after a sexual assault, the more likely we will be able to collect evidence to help the police investigation. However, we understand that people sometimes do not want an examination immediately, and that’s ok. If you do wait, here are some things you can do to make sure we can get as much forensic evidence as possible.
- Avoid washing your hands, showering or bathing
- Avoid wiping your genital area, even with toilet paper
- If you need to pee, press your underwear to your genital area before going to the toilet, avoid wiping afterwards
- If you need to poo, press your underwear to your anus before going to the toilet, avoid wiping afterwards
- Keep the underwear and other clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault, and don’t wash it
- If you suspect you were given drugs or alcohol that you weren’t aware of, save your first pee in a clean glass jar and bring it to the examination (we only need 100ml or less)
What might an appointment involve? Depending on your circumstances and your decisions, you might have some or all of the below.
- Brief questions regarding your medical history and the assault
- Swabs and physical exam
- Emergency contraception
- Screening for STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
- Safety support (safe accommodation/refuges)
- Counselling referrals
- Support services (ACC, court support services)
This video by the NZ Police shows an example of a medical visit after a recent sexual assault