After an experience of unwanted sexual contact, you may consider seeking medical treatment, such as:
- STI treatment and testing and/or discussing the risks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with a health professional
- Preventive treatment for certain STIs can be most effective within 1-3 days of the sexual contact
- Find more information about post-exposure prophylaxis (preventative treatment for HIV) such as where to find it and how to pay for it
- Forensic exam to collect potential physical evidence and determine additional necessary treatment (also called a sexual assault forensic exam, or ‘rape kit’)
- A forensic exam may be conducted up to 5 days after the incident
- To preserve evidence one should not shower, bathe, brush teeth, or change clothes before visiting a hospital for a forensic exam
- Learn more about the Forensic Exam
- Discussing the risks of pregnancy resulting from a sexual assault and/or contraception methods and alternatives with a health professional
- Preventive treatment for pregnancy can be most effective within 1 day of the sexual contact
- Find places to obtain preventive treatment near you
You can have a support person or people of your choice such as a friend, family member, or advocate accompany you throughout the medical care process. You can also contact the Title IX Coordinator (718-990-2660) during business hours or a Campus Support Advisor (718-990-8484) after hours to request someone to come with you.
If you would like to receive medical care, you may call 911, call Public Safety at 718-990-5252, or visit one of the hospitals with SAFE programs listed below. The University offers free transportation to and from a hospital for a forensic exam.Back to top
Near Queens Campus:
Elmhurst Hospital Center
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Queens Hospital Center
82-68 164th Street
Jamaica, NY 11432
Near Staten Island Campus:
Richmond University Medical Center
355 Bard Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10310
St. John’s has compiled a more robust list of medical centers that have a SAFE program across the state of New York. Click here to view that list.Back to top
What is it?
The Sexual Assault Forensic Exam, also called a ‘rape kit’, is an exam that checks for and documents physical evidence of sexual battery, sexual assault, or rape, and may be conducted up to 5 days after the incident. The State of New York recommends that you do this within 48 hours of the incident. To best preserve evidence, one should not bathe, shower, brush teeth, or go to the bathroom until after the forensic exam. Evidence from a forensic exam can be used in prosecuting sexual assault cases through the criminal justice system.
How does it work?
A sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) or doctor will begin the exam by asking about your medical history and health, and may ask about characteristics or details of the assault. A physical exam will be performed and samples from various parts of the body may be collected to test for DNA. A toxicology test may also be done to test for drugs in the system, and clothing may be kept as evidence. At the hospital they may ask for your insurance, however, you can also choose to bill the Office of Victim Services instead. Forensic exams are paid for by the Office of Victim Services in the State of New York.
Will the police be notified that I got a forensic exam?
When you request a forensic exam, the SAFE will notify the police. An officer and an advocate will both arrive at the hospital. You do not have to speak with the police if you do not want to. You can also choose to speak with the police without pressing charges.
How is it used?
After the exam, the doctor or nurse will document the findings in a medical record, which can later be subpoenaed to assist in the legal process. Your medical record will be saved with the police department for 5 years.
Can I have someone else there?
You can have a support person (or people) of your choice such as a friend, family member, or advocate accompany you throughout the medical care process. You can also call Sexual Assault Violence Intervention program at 718-736-1238 to speak with someone confidentially and request someone to accompany you to receive medical care.Back to top