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