The Importance of Preserving Evidence

For your safety and well-being, immediate medical attention is encouraged. Further, being examined as soon as possible, ideally within 120 hours, is important in the case of rape or sexual assault.

  • To preserve evidence, it is recommended that you do not bathe, shower, douche, eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, urinate, defecate, or change clothes before receiving medical attention. Even if you have already taken any of these actions, you are still encouraged to have prompt medical care, and evidence may still be recoverable.
  • Typically, if police are involved or will be involved, they will obtain evidence from the scene, and it is best to leave things undisturbed until their arrival. The will gather bedding, linens or unlaundered clothing, and any other pertinent articles that may be used for evidence. It is best to allow police to secure items in evidence containers, but if you are involved in transmission of items of evidence, such as to the hospital, secure them in a clean paper bag or clean sheet to avoid contamination.
  • If you have physical injuries, photograph or have them photographed, with a date stamp on the photo.
  • Record the names of any witnesses and their contact information. This information may be helpful as proof of a crime, to obtain an order of protection, or to offer proof of a campus policy violation.
  • Try to memorize details (e.g., physical description names, license plate number, car description, etc.), or even better, write notes to remind you of details, if you have the time and ability to do so.
  • If you obtain external orders of protection (e.g., retraining orders, injunctions, protection from abuse), please notify the local police department if off-campus or if on-campus, notify Public Safety and Police Services and/or the Title IX Coordinator so that those orders called a no contact order can be observed on campus.