If you have any concerns about the physical effects of the rape or sexual abuse, it can be helpful to have a physical check-up.
If you would like to see a doctor who has been specially trained in working with survivors of rape and sexual abuse, there is a group of doctors throughout Aotearoa/New Zealand called Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care (DSAC).
DSAC doctors provide medical checks both for people who have been raped/sexually abused recently or a long time ago. Contact DSAC or your nearest sexual assault agency for information about DSAC trained doctors in your area.
DSAC doctors acan perform medical examinations for the Police to gather forensic evidence which may be on your body after an assault. Our bodies hold all sorts of evidence after a sexual assault, some of which is often able to be collected up to 7 days after a sexual assault. Even if the offender used a condom during the rape, there may be other evidence available.
If you are making a report to the Police within 7 days of the assault, they will usually organise for you to visit a DSAC trained doctor. This is to help build evidence for a case, which is helpful if the case proceeds to court.
During a physical exam, you have the right to stop the exam at any time, even if just for a break. The doctor should explain everything to you at the beginning of the consultation. If you have any questions, they should stop and answer them in a way that you can understand.
If you have been drugged and then raped, your body may also hold evidence of what happened. Depending on the drug used this evidence is usually collectable for between 12 and 48 hours after the assault. When this type of evidence is collected in conjunction with the Police, it can be used in court to support your case. Check out the Drug Rape page for more information.