Photography in Sexual Assault Care

The National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adult/Adolescent 2nd Ed. and new National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations: Pediatric both include photography as an integral component of the exam.  There are many exam and policy considerations that go into incorporating photography and photo-documentation as part of the medical forensic patient evaluation. In addition to documenting the patient during the examination, photographs can be essential to ensure that there is an opportunity for peer review for examiners. This webinar will outline the recommendations from both of the National SAFE Protocols and discuss the policy and practice implications for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners and multidisciplinary team members.



  • Define the extent to which photographs should be taken in the context of sexual assault care as recommended in both the Adult/Adolescent and Pediatric National Protocols for Sexual Assault/Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations.

  • Discuss the implications of consent for photographs taken during the exam
  • Identify who is responsible for obtaining photographs and what images should be taken
  • List the privacy concerns that should be addressed in policy and with patients
  • Identify the importance of ensuring quality of photographic images
  • Discuss storage and release options for the photographs taken during the course of the medical forensic exam.

The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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