A forensic medical exam is done to collect medical evidence within 72 hours of a sexually violent incident.
You are not required to have a forensic exam. You can get medical treatment from a doctor, clinic, or emergency room regardless of your choice to receive a forensic exam.
Still, we strongly encourage that survivors of sexual assault seek medical treatment for injuries, possible sexually transmitted infections (STI) and/or pregnancy.
The benefit to a forensic exam by a doctor is that the evidence is preserved for the future. You can report sexualized violence at any time after the assault occurred—days, weeks, or even years later—however, the longer you wait the more difficult it is for police to gather supporting evidence.
Forensic exams are available at every hospital in Saskatoon:
- City Hospital (limited emergency room hours): (306) 655-8230
- Royal University Hospital Emergency Room: (306) 655-1362
- St. Paul’s Hospital Emergency Room: (306) 655-5000
Getting a forensic exam can be frightening to think about, especially right after a sexual assault. A doctor specially trained to administer a forensic exam will ask you a few questions to determine the nature of the assault, and then may do any of the following:
- Collect blood or urine samples
- Swab the body, genitals, or inside the mouth for traces of DNA evidence
- Comb the head or pubic area for the perpetrator’s hair
- Document bruising or other injuries on the body
- Bag the clothing worn during the assault
Keep in mind that simply collecting any evidence does not establish that there was a sexual assault, only that contact with another individual occurred.
The police will be called to take a statement, and will take custody of any/all evidence that the doctor has collected. The police may need to take photographs of any bruising or injuries.
This evidence is labelled and sent to a lab for testing. Evidence will be logged and stored for investigation and/or prosecution purposes.
For more information on the police reporting process, please visit the Saskatoon Police Service website.