Seeking Medical Care and/or Undergoing a Forensic Examination

Seeking Medical Care and/or Undergoing a Forensic Examination

Medical Care and Preserving Evidence

An individual who has been impacted by sexual violence is urged to seek medical care as soon as possible. Even if a complainant doesn’t want to report the assault, medical attention is highly recommended to check for injuries, sexually transmitted infections, or pregnancy.

Complainants of sexual assault are strongly encouraged to undergo a forensic examination within 72 hours by a trained professional. Forensic examinations are not available at the Student Health Center (SHC) and require police involvement. Complainants should use a local hospital such as Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital located in Bloomsburg or at the Geisinger Medical Center located in Danville for comprehensive medical care and a forensic examination after an assault. The Student Health Center and/or University Police will assist with transportation to the hospital if needed. In cases requiring urgent care, contact local emergency services by calling 911.

In addition to receiving proper medical attention, consider the following:

  • Time is a factor in the collection of evidence. Post-assault forensic evidence (commonly referred to as a “rape kit”) is best collected as soon as possible or within 72 hours after the assault. Complainants should go to the hospital as soon as possible after the assault.
  • A Victim Advocate from the Bloomsburg Town Women’s Center Inc. or a University Resource Advocate for Sexual Misconduct/Title IX can accompany the complainant to the hospital to provide support and answer questions on what to expect. To obtain an advocate, call 1-800-544-8293 for a town Women’s Center Advocate or 570-336-4994 for a University Resource Advocate. The Hospital Emergency room will contact an advocate, if desired.
  • Complainants should not bathe or douche as this will destroy evidence that supports a legal case against the respondent.
  • The hospital/police will keep the clothes worn during the assault as evidence. Complainants should bring a change of clothes to the hospital, or take the clothes they were wearing during the assault in a brown paper bag to the hospital.

The Student Health Center will provide prompt medical and psychological support for all complainants of sexual assault. The SHC will initiate and coordinate care between other Bloomsburg University departments and area hospital emergency departments for follow-up care. The Student Health Center is located next to the Husky Lounge in Kehr Union Building and is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, during fall and spring semesters. Contact SHC by calling 570-389-4451.

The complainant may also receive care at Columbia Montour Family Health located in Bloomsburg (see Resources Section), Planned Parenthood in Wilkes Barre, or from a private physician or gynecologist.