A medical exam is offered to any child or adult who may be a victim of physical or sexual abuse or assault. Nurse practitioners with specialized training are available to perform specialized medical evaluations on site in a victim-centered, friendly, non-threatening environment.
The purpose of the exam is to collect evidence and document trauma if present (especially in acute cases). The exam is also used to assess for and treat sexually transmitted infections, injuries, and pregnancy. Most importantly, it is performed to reassure the victim and family that his/her body is okay.
Victims may feel worried, embarrassed, or uncomfortable about their exam. It is normal to feel anxious about the examination. The nurse practitioner will take as much time as necessary to help the person throughout the medical evaluation by explaining each step of the check-up and finding ways to put the person at ease.
Can I request a medical exam?
Medical examinations are a part of the criminal investigation process. Therefore, only law enforcement can request a medical examination.
What should my child know about the medical exam?
If your child receives a medical examination, explain that this is to make sure that his or her body is healthy. Assure your child that this exam will not hurt and that the medical examiner will tell your child everything that she will be doing prior to the exam.