The evidence collection process & the current rape kit

If a survivor seeks medical attention at a hospital following a sexual assault, a medical examiner will use a rape kit (also known as a sexual assault evidence kit) to collect potential biological and physical evidence. 

It is important to understand that regardless of whether the kit produces forensic results, the act of going through the evidence collection process greatly strengthens a survivor's case to pursue legal action.

Survivors do not have to report their assault to police in order to undergo the sexual assault forensic examination at a hospital.

The contents of these kits vary state-by-state but will generally include:

  • Instructions
  • Documentation Forms for the patient's consent, report and medical history
  • Bags and paper sheets 
  • Envelopes
  • Swabs
  • Comb
  • Glass slides