What Happens at the Sexual Assault Response Team Clinic

For the victim of rape, the first step is to notify police. Medical reporter Ashley Anderson takes us through the steps that a rape victim should take after the incident.

"Hey come right this way. You're going into this room and I'll ask you a few questions." That's generally the first words a victim will hear as a nurse and advocate will meet the victim and explain the steps she must go through in detail. Counseling also begins immediately.

RN Coordinator Lindsay Hester, "Thank goodness the volunteer advocate is specifically trained to deal with the emotions of the victim, as well as the nurse here." The victim is made to understand that they are not at fault, but their body is the evidence. They can call someone for support. And they are required not to use the restroom, eat, drink, shower, brush their teeth or change clothes until after the medical exam.

"I'm going to ease you back in the chair and start the exam." These words are heard at the beginning of the examination. A sexual assault kit is used. Swab samples from the mouth and genitalia are taken. DNA samples of the victim are made from hair and blood. A scope helps the nurse to make computerized pictures of all injuries, even the most miniature.

One of the last steps for the rape victim is to be brought into a rest room. Here they can take a shower. They're given a fresh set of clothing, so they can freshen up. And they're allowed now to brush their teeth. It's imperative that all the rules be followed in order to get the evidence needed for prosecution. Lindsay Hester reminds us that "we can't even do the medical collection evidence after 72 hours."

Later the victim is offered snacks, medication for sexually transmitted disease and even pregnancy prevention. And the person is counseled the entire time.