My sister said something to me the other day that left me speechless. Not for long mind you, but really made me stop and think.
She said “I didn’t know there was a special exam for someone who has been sexually assaulted. I didn’t know you had 72 hours to go get this exam. I didn’t know it was paid for by the state.”
That’s a LOT of —I didn’t knows!
Now she is a smart, savvy, educated, and is usually one step ahead of me in most things.
But she wasn’t aware of the P.E.R.K. (Physical Evidence Recovery Kit) exam and its importance.
This is for every woman or man who has been sexually assaulted.
This is for every friend of a person who has been sexually assaulted.
This is for every family member of someone who has been sexually assaulted.
This is for anyone who may ever be sexually assaulted at a future time.
*If you are sexually assaulted and want to report and collect evidence of the assault go directly to the hospital.
*You have a 72 HOUR WINDOW from the time of the assault in which to have evidence collected.
- Via the Virginia Code on sexual assault: A PERK exam must be done at the earliest possible time in the interests of victim health and safety, evidence collection and substance/drug identification. All victims should be encouraged to obtain this exam prior to interviews if possible, and regardless of their current willingness to prosecute or cooperate with the police investigation.
- “regardless of their current willingness to prosecute or cooperate with the police investigation” Means that even if you don’t want to move forward with prosecution the exam is still available to you. Once the evidence is collected the victim has 364 days to change his or her mind and choose to press charges. The kit is kept in safe keeping until that point, or its 364 day expiration.
*Don’t worry about a hospital bill for the P.E.R.K. exam, STI testing, or preventatives.
*You can call the police from the hospital.
Here is my challenge to you:
Tell 3 people this information. Ask them to tell 3 people. Let’s make sure there a whole lot less “I didn’t knows” out there!
Comment below, tell me who you told, or who told you! Spread the word, educate each other, and empower yourself!
I’ll start! Sister, friend at work, friend at school, and YOU!