Seek medical care and preserve evidence
Victims of sexual assault are urged to obtain medical care and a sexual assault exam that preserves forensic evidence as soon as possible. Time is of the essence because certain types of evidence can dissipate or become unavailable.
If victims do not opt for forensic evidence collection, health care providers still can treat injuries and take steps to address concerns of pregnancy and/or sexually transmitted diseases. Obtaining a forensic exam does not require a person to file a police report, but it will help preserve evidence in case he or she decides at a later date to do so.
To preserve evidence before obtaining a sexual assault exam: Do not change clothes, bathe, shower or douche; do not eat, drink or use toothpaste or mouthwash; do not wash clothing, bed sheets, pillows or other potential evidence.
Where to go for a forensic exam
At Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, 8200 Walnut Hill Lane, a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) will provide medical care and a sexual assault exam; call 214-345-6203 or visit texashealth.org/dallassane.
- The Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center (DARCC) is a community resource that provides confidential counseling and can assist students at Presbyterian Hospital Dallas; call 972-641-7273 (available 24/7) or visit www.dallasrapecrisis.org.
- SMU Police officers, who are trained in sexual misconduct issues, are available to transport and accompany students to the hospital; call 214-768-3333. Officers will not be present during the exam. Students may bring a friend or family member for support. Please note that if asked to provide transport, SMU Police will file a police report; see “Report to Police” for more information.
- A confidential counselor in SMU Counseling Services who specializes in sexual misconduct issues also can accompany students to the hospital. Call 214-768-2277 (an emergency contact number is provided at all hours), or SMU Police can contact Counseling Services for students.
In addition to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, other area hospitals that have health care professionals authorized to perform medical/legal examinations are:
- Parkland Hospital, 5201 Harry Hines Blvd.
Main phone, 214-590-8000
Victim Intervention Program and Rape Crisis Center, 214-590-0430
- Methodist Dallas Medical Center, 1441 N. Beckley Ave.
Main phone, 214-947-8181
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), 214-947-8181
- Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, 6200 W. Parker Road
Emergency room, 972-981-8003