If you choose to go to the hospital, an evidence collection kit can be done to gather DNA and other evidence. The kit will only be done with your consent. If you are planning on completing an evidence collection kit, it is important to avoid showering, bathing, or any other activity that may wash away evidence. If you have showered since the assault, there may still be evidence that can be collected, however. You can also receive emergency contraceptives, preventative medication for sexually transmitted infections, and any other necessary medical care. Survivors in the State of Illinois do not pay for treatment following an assault. The hospital can contact the police, however you are not required to report the assault if you don't want to.
If you contact the police
If you choose to contact the police, they will interview you to gather details about the assault. It is important to give as many details as you remember, however it is normal for there to be gaps in a survivor's memory following any traumatic event, so don't be too hard on yourself if you don't remember a lot of details.
Some survivors choose to contact the police directly after an assault, and some wait for days, weeks, months, or even years. There is no time limit on when an assault can be reported, however there may be a time limit on how long charges can be filed.
If you contact SAFE
If you contact SAFE following an assault, we can provide free, confidential support in whatever form you need. Our medical and legal advocates can talk to you about your options regarding the evidence collection kit and legal actions, and help you decide what option you're most comfortable with. Our counselors can listen and provide support to you during your healing process. All SAFE staff are victim-centered; making sure you regain control of your life is our priority. We don't tell you what you should do or how you should feel. We simply walk by you through whatever steps you choose to take.