Teens What to expect during an exam for suspected sexual assault (1260)

Key points below

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is sexual contact when you did not want it to happen. It might have been:

Most of the time, the abuser is someone you know. By law, doctors and nurses must report it to the police when it happens. It is a crime.

Why do I need a medical exam?

It is important for your health that you get checked. Sexual assault can cause injuries or other medical problems. It could cause pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, herpes, and others. You may not know you have one unless you get tested.

Sometimes the injuries heal so well that they can no longer be seen. Because of this, the exam is often normal. This does not mean that the assault did not occur. The exam is not done to prove or disprove what you say happened. Sometimes, exam findings are used as evidence in court.

How long do I have to get an exam?

It is easier to find an injury if the exam is done soon after the assault. You should have an exam within 3 days if possible. If you come in early, you can be given:

It is easier to find evidence if you have not showered, brushed your teeth, gone to the bathroom, or changed clothes since the assault. If you come in early:

How is the exam done?

The medical exam is done in a very respectful way. The health care provider will not do any part of the exam that you do not want done. Talk with the health care provider if you would like someone such as an advocate to be in the room with you.

What happens after the exam?

Who can I talk to if I have questions or want an exam later?

Other resources:


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.