Preserving Evidence

Even if an individual has not been physically hurt, a timely medical examination is recommended so that forensic evidence can be collected and preserved. An individual may choose to allow the collection of evidence by medical personnel even if he or she chooses not to make a report to the police. In order to best preserve forensic evidence, it is suggested that an individual not shower, bathe, douche, smoke, or change clothes or bedding before seeking medical attention, and that medical attention be sought as soon as possible. If the individual decides to change clothes, he she can bring them unwashed to the hospital or medical facility in a paper bag.

Under Illinois law, emergency medical or forensic examinations (i.e., evidence collection) for sexual assault survivors are provided free of charge to the patient. Individuals can obtain a free emergency medical or forensic examination at:

Presence Mercy Medical Center (24/7, ER assistance)
1325 N. Highland Ave. Aurora, IL 60506
Phone:  630-859-2222 

Individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct or interpersonal violence are also encouraged to preserve evidence by saving text messages, instant messages, social networking pages, other communications, and keeping pictures, logs, or other copies of documents.