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National Protocol - What is Medical Forensic Exam?
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Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examination 

What is a Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examination?

The sexual assault medical forensic exam is an examination of a sexual assault patient by a health care provider, ideally one who has specialized education and clinical experience in the collection of forensic evidence and treatment of these patients.

The examination includes gathering information from the patient for the medical forensic history; an examination; coordinating treatment of injuries, documentation of biological and physical findings, and collection of evidence from the patient; documentation of findings; information, treatment, and referrals for STIs, pregnancy, suicidal ideation, alcohol and substance abuse, and other non-acute medical concerns; and follow-up as needed to provide additional healing, treatment, or collection of evidence. The exam is referred to as the “forensic medical examination” under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Source: A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adults/Adolescents, Second Edition. U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. April 2013. NCJ 241903

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