Reporting to Law Enforcement and Evidence Preservation
Reporting to Law Enforcement
In a law enforcement emergency, call Campus Safety or 911. If it is not an emergency, and you are considering making a report about what happened to you to law enforcement, please know that navigating the law enforcement reporting process can be complicated. Scripps strongly recommends that students interested in exploring this option, contact Project Sister Family Services’ 24/7 hotline at (909) 626-4357. PSFS will explain and help guide you through process, including whether evidence preservation is an option. Of course, if you want assistance from the College, contact Campus Safety at (909) 607-2000 and ask to speak to on-call dean.
If one has experienced sexual violence, it is important to preserve evidence. The primary method of preserving physical evidence is the SART exam.
- What is a SART Exam? Forensic examination performed after a sexual assault, the main purpose of which is to collect evidence that could help in an ongoing or later criminal investigation/prosecution. The exam is conducted by sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), medical professionals with specialized training in performing such exams.
- How soon after an assault should I obtain a SART exam? As soon as possible, but generally evidence can be collected only up to 96 hours after the incident.
- How do I arrange SART Exam? Navigating the SART exam process can be complicated. Scripps strongly recommends that students interested in getting an exam contact Project Sister Family Services’ 24/7 hotline at (909) 626-4357. PSFS will explain the process, arrange for exam, and provide a confidential sexual assault counselor (advocate) and support person to attend exam (if you wish). This process ensures the exam is free. Trying to arrange the exam yourself could mean it gets billed to your insurance. Of course, if you want assistance from the College, contact Campus Safety at (909) 607-2000 and ask to speak to on-call dean.
- Is there anything I should do to preserve evidence before SART exam? If possible, try not to bathe, brush teeth, eat or drink (don’t worry if you’ve already done so). Put clothes worn during incident (and any other evidence such as sheets) in clean paper bag (plastic can destroy evidence). If you think you were drugged, urinate in cup ASAP and write down the date/time of urination.
- If I undergo SART Exam, do I have to pursue criminal prosecution? Under federal law, you are entitled to a free forensic medical exam even if you end up choosing not to report to or cooperate with law enforcement. However, obtaining an exam helps keep options open.