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Taking Care of Ourselves & Each Other

Health & Well-Being

Additional Resources

Time Sensitive Actions After an Assault

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Does This Sound Like You or Someone You Know?

  • Unsure if the experience was sexual assault, sexual harassment, or gender-based discrimination?
  • Distressed by a sexual or relationship experience and don't know who to talk to?
  • Experiencing emotional control or harm in a relationship?
  • Want to know more about how to make a report or what reporting means?
  • Unsure about the next steps?
  • Need to talk through how to support someone else?

CST can help with these uncertainties. Below, learn more about time senstive actions that can be taken after an assault. 

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Immediate Help

If you are in immediate danger, call 911 (or 9-911 from a campus phone). If you are injured or need immediate medical treatment, go directly to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Time Sensitive Actions

Forensic Evidence Collection (i.e., SART Exam, “Rape Kit”)

What is a forensic exam?

A forensic exam can do two things:

  1. provide sensitive, thorough medical care after a sexual assault including physical exam and medication to prevent sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy
  2. collect evidence that is admissible in court and may be helpful to the prosecution of a legal case, in the case that you decide to report to law enforcement

Medical providers at rape treatment centers have specialized training in providing medical care and sexual assault forensic examinations for survivors. They will help you understand your options for care and can provide referrals to other services you may need.

Other terms you may hear for the forensic exam include sexual Assault Response Team (SART) exam, medical-legal exam, sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) exam, sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) exam, “rape kit," or "rape exam.”

How do I get a forensic exam?

If the event happened on campus or in Santa Clara County, you can:

Where to get a forensic exam if the event happened outside of Santa Clara County

Ideally, it is best to go to the county site where the assault occurred. 

Before the Exam. 

In order to preserve evidence, individuals are advised not to shower, wash, wipe, change clothes or brush their teeth prior to the exam, if possible. 

During the Exam.

A specially trained SART nurse will assess any physical injuries or trauma and collect evidence that may have resulted from the assault that can possibly be used by law enforcement. The nurse will provide testing and treatment for prevention of sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) and pregnancy, as well as directions for follow-up medical care.

Getting to the exam

  • Call the Confidential Support Team (CST) at 650-725-9955 (24/7 hotline) to coordinate transportation via Lyft or SUDPS
  • Call SUDPS at 650-329-2413 and tell them you are a Stanford student and would like an anonymous courtesy ride to Stanford Hospital Emergency Department or SCVMC for a SART exam (though not strictly confidential, you will not be required to make a police report; contact CST if you would like assistance with coordinating a ride through SUDPS)
  • Use your own transportation or arrange for a ride from a friend or family member.

You do not need to make a police report to complete a forensic exam. Although medical personnel are required by California law to report to the police instances in which a SART process is initiated, you have the right to choose not to report a sexual assault to law enforcement or participate in an investigation, as well as the right to change your mind at a later time. Both the nurse and certified advocates can provide more information about these options. 

More information about forensic exams. 

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Medical Evaluation, Treatment and Follow Up (Without Evidence Collection)

Vaden Health Center’s medical service offers another option for students to take care of their physical body if they choose not to have forensic evidence collected. Options for medical care at Vaden include physical evaluation, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), and emergency contraception. Appointments can be made at or 650-498-2336, ext 1. Students can request a provider of a preferred gender. Outside of clinic hours, students can reach Vaden’s on-call physician for urgent medical advice at the same number. Students can schedule an extended appointment due to sexual assault (routine STI screening is often not adequate) and/or ask CST for assistance with this. 

Main quad detail, 2022. Credit: Sean McKibbon-Ray