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 ‘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
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.Back to top
USC Student Health provides free medical treatment for students.
Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center provides free medical treatment and forensic exams (rape kits).
VIP at County Medical Center provides free forensic exams (rape kits) and paid medical treatment.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. 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.
Where can I get a forensic exam?
The Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center (RTC) is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. RTC provides general medical treatment and collection of evidence, and also provides long term counseling support for victims of sexual assault and sexual violence as well as advocacy and accompaniment services.
- Location: 1250 16th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
- Phone: (310) 319-4000 and press 3
How does it work?
Every time someone comes in for a medical examination, it is required that the nurse contacts the local police. If you have not yet had any interface with law enforcement, the nurse will call the police and tell them that a crime occurred. The police will come and ask the survivor if they'd like to file a police report. If they do want to report, they can do it in conjunction with the forensic interview that the nurse takes so that the survivor doesn't have to repeat their story more than once. RTC will also connect you to one of the clinicians and a counselor who can let you know what to expect next and help walk you through the process. If you choose to, the counselor will follow-up with you intermittently to check in with how you're doing both medically and emotionally.
How are forensic exams used?
After the exam, the Nurse Examiner will document the findings in a medical record, which can later be subpoenaed to assist in the legal process. You can ask RTC to hold onto your evidence for an unlimited amount of time.
Do I need to pay for it?
All services at RTC are completely free. If you go elsewhere, forensic exams are paid for by the local jurisdiction (through California Victim's Services), not by you. If you receive additional medical assessments or treatments, you may need to pay for them personally or through insurance.
Can I have someone with me?
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. If you go to the RTC, they will assign you a counselor.Back to top