Rape / Crisis - Hotline - 888-385-4657
When a rape occurs, the sooner you act the better. However, a sexual assault evidentiary exam can be done for up to 5 days if the victim hasn't showered.
A victim advocate will be assigned to you by San Diego County if there are criminal charges. You may also seek assistance from an independent victim advocate who can offer you more comprehensive help and continued support outside the scope of what the county advocates can offer. This is where I can help.
Please see the following guidelines provided by San Diego County Health and Human Services:
What Victims Need to Know
If the sexual assault just occurred, advise the victim not to bathe, douche, urinate or otherwise alter her/his physical self, or engage in any activity that may contaminate or destroy valuable evidence such as semen, saliva, hairs, etc. This includes: eating drinking brushing teeth chewing gum, candy or mints smoking gargling.
Advise the victim that the hospital may need to collect her/his clothing if it was worn during or immediately after the assault. Recommend that she/he either bring a change of clothing with her/him to the hospital, or have someone bring clothing to her/him. If the report is delayed, evidence may still be available.
The victim should not wash bedding or clothes, or dispose of any items associated with the sexual assault. Except in child molest cases and domestic violence incidents, an adult victim may choose to terminate a police investigation if she/he wishes.
Inform the victim that depending on the investigating agency's policy, evidence may be held while she/he decides whether she/he wants to pursue prosecution. If there is any reason to believe that the victim was drugged, i.e., she/he believes someone drugged her/him because she/he woke up without clothing and does not remember what happened to her/him, stress the importance of obtaining a urine sample for a complete toxicology screen as soon as possible.
California Penal Code gives sexual assault survivors the right to request their name and address not become public record. Sexual assault survivors also have the right to have a victim advocate and at least one other support person of their choice present at any follow-up interview with law enforcement authorities, deputy district attorneys and defense attorneys.
In the state of California, a Victim Advocate will be provided to you free of charge by the Victim Assistance Program. Click here for a list of services provided by San Diego County District Attorney's Office. The victim support services I provide go beyond the scope of services provided by the victim assistance program so I would still like to help you and be of service to you to make sure you are taken care of.