Yarrow Place Rape and Sexual Assault Service
Yarrow Place is the lead public health agency responding to adult rape and sexual assault in South Australia.
If you are thinking about reporting to the police, you can choose to have a forensic medical examination. The examination is done to provide evidence that can:
This examination is most useful within 72 hours of the rape or sexual assault. However, it can be done up to 1 week after the assault. A doctor or nurse will collect evidence. Before collecting evidence, the doctor or nurse will talk with you about the examination and give you time to ask questions about it. You have the right to say yes or no to the collection of any samples.
The doctor or nurse can collect evidence such as swabs and clothing to find DNA from the person who has assaulted you. DNA may be passed on to you via semen, saliva or touch. Blood and urine may be collected to look for drugs and/or alcohol if that has been a part of the assault. Evidence also includes detailed documentation of your injuries and photography of these injuries with your consent.
Making a decision about contacting police can be difficult. We can offer a 'just in case' forensic medical examination. Evidence is collected and stored safely until you make a decision within a 12 month period.
(This information only refers to services provided by Yarrow Place)
If you are 16 and over you can consent to a Forensic medical examination with Yarrow Place.
If you decide to:
You can contact the police at any stage after an assault, even many years later, but the evidence will only be available for 12 months from the time of collection.
Sometimes people choose to delay the forensic medical examination because they have more pressing needs such as arranging childcare or needing to have a sleep.
The following information is provided to let you know what you can do to maximise the successful collection of forensic evidence when the examination is done, if there is to be a delay.
Some evidence may be lost if you shower or wash before the examination. If you can, it is better not to wash before the examination. It is very normal to want to have a shower or wash, so if you need to, try not to wash the areas that have been involved in the assault. For example, don't wash your breast if you have been 'kissed' there during the assault, or if you were anally or vaginally raped, do not wash these areas.
If you need to urinate (‘do a wee’), press your underpants to your external genitalia (vagina or penis) before removing them and going to the toilet. If you can, try not to use your bowels (‘do a poo’) if you have been anally raped. If you do have to go, press your underpants to the anus before removing them and going to the toilet.
Please keep the clothing worn at the time of the assault in separate paper bags and do not wash it.
If you are in a country area, this service is offered by Country Health SA at some general hospitals. Contact your local police for further details.