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Victim Services


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Preserve All Evidence

Preserving DNA evidence can be crucial to identifying the perpetrator in a sexual assault case, especially if the offender is a stranger. DNA evidence is a vital part of a law enforcement investigation that can build a strong case to show that a sexual assault occurred and to show that the defendant is the source of biological material left on the victim’s body.

Preserve all physical evidence of the assault

Do not eat or smoke
Do not use the restroom
Do not comb or brush your hair
Do not wash your hands or face
Do not shower or bathe
Do not brush your teeth
Do not change clothes/wash clothing or straighten up the area where the assault took place
Do not clean or disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred
Save all of the clothing you were wearing at the time of the assault. Place each item of clothing in a separate paper bag. Do not use plastic bags.

To help preserve evidence:

  • It is best to have evidence collected within the first 72 hours of the assault. (Up to 5 days).
  • If you already cleaned up from the assault, you can still request a rape exam.
  • If you are still in the location at which the crime occurred, do not clean or straighten up or remove anything.