Receiving care within 5 days after an unwanted sexual encounter is extremely important, and the sooner care is received, the more options there are available for evidence collection and/or pregnancy prevention. The providers can help determine the extent of injuries, whether you need medications (e.g., emergency contraception, antibiotics to prevent sexually transmitted infection, antiretrovirals to prevent HIV), how to assist you emotionally, and if you are interested in the collection and preservation of physical evidence (PERK Exam).
All treatments are completely optional, meaning coming to SHW does not commit you to receiving all offered services. When SHW is open, we can provide:
- emotional support and counseling,
- medical evaluation and treatment including pregnancy prevention, and
- evidence collection (PERK Kit).
If you need confidential medical advice or crisis mental health consultation after-hours or on weekends, you can always call the after-hours provider for SHW at (434) 297-4261. In addition, you can go to the UVA Hospital Emergency Room or call 911.
Emotional Support Services:
It is common to have strong emotional reactions following an unwanted sexual encounter. If this is happening to you, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides:
- Crisis walk-in care
- After-hours services
- Psychiatric services
If you have experienced an unwanted sexual encounter, you may choose to have a medical exam. This may include:
- Physical exam to evaluate for injuries (lack of genital injury does not mean that a sexual assault did not occur).
- Treatment of any injuries.
- Treatment for possible exposure to sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and hepatitis B, when indicated.
- Pregnancy prevention, including emergency contraception, and pregnancy testing.
A PERK exam is available at SHW during business hours and based on SANE nurse (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) availability. (If after hours, evidence collection can occur at the UVA Health Emergency Department.) These exams document and collect evidence of sexual contact or physical trauma (including injuries on the body and genitals), trace evidence, and identifiable DNA from the perpetrator of a sexual assault. You may elect to have the exam performed even if you have not yet decided whether you want to report the assault to the police and/or to the University. That decision is entirely yours to make.
- Evidence collected during a PERK exam at SHW can be used as evidence in a subsequent University or criminal complaint but is not required for such a complaint.
- A PERK exam should be completed as soon as possible; up to 120 hours after the encounter(s). However, having a PERK exam performed does NOT mean you must report the encounter to police or to the University or share the results of the exam with police or the University.
- The PERK exam is conducted in a confidential health care setting.