A SART Exam/Medical evidence collection
Individuals who have experienced any form of sexual or relationship violence are encouraged but not required to have a medical-legal exam performed by a trained medical professional as soon as possible (i.e., within 72 hours) after the assault. The medical professional will address an individual’s medical needs related to the assault as well as collect evidence in accordance with established protocols for evidence collection.
In order to preserve evidence, the crime lab recommends if possible that you not shower, wash, pee, wipe, change clothes, eat, drink or brush your teeth prior to the exam. If you have done any of these things, do not worry, you haven’t made a mistake.
Even if an individual is uncertain about whether to pursue criminal or other remedies, participating in the exam allows for the collection and preservation of evidence that might be useful should the individual decide to pursue some type of action at a later date.
Where to get a SART exam
In Santa Clara County, medical-legal exams are performed by the County of Santa Clara at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto (as of February 1, 2020) and at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) in San Jose. Medical-legal exams will be performed at no cost to a victim of sexual or relationship violence. A victim does not need to file a report in order to obtain a medical-legal exam; however, hospitals are required to notify the police if a physical injury has been sustained, so the hospital will notify the police agency that has jurisdictional responsibility where the assault took place. Victims have the option to speak with the police or not. The ability to have a medical-legal exam performed is not dependent upon speaking with the police or filing a police report.
If a victim needs assistance traveling to a SART exam, a University staff person or a member of DPS will provide assistance.
For assistance in receiving a medical-legal exam, contact:
YWCA Rape Crisis Hotline: (800) 572-2782
Department of Public Safety: 911 or (650) 723-9633
SCVMC Emergency Department: (408) 885-5000