One-Fifth of Rape Victims Receive Care

Only about one-fifth of rape victims receive post-rape medical care.

Only about one-fifth of rape victims receive post-rape medical care.  Research also shows that only 11.7% of women who got pregnant as a result of rape received immediate medical attention, while 47.1% received no rape-related medical attention.

To the extent that someone reports the crime, her first source of medical care may be the emergency department to which she is transported by the police after they respond to a call for assistance.  In some cities, there may be a specific forensic unit established for sexual assault victims; Philadelphia has established such a unit to save traumatized victims from the long waits for treatment they would experience in busy urban emergency departments. Other cities, like Doylestown, instruct police to take victims of sexual assault to designated hospital emergency departments.  At the medical facility, survivors receive treatment for injuries, a forensic exam, treatment for STIs, and emergency contraception. Sometimes this care is provided by a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE Nurse), who is specially trained.  If a SANE nurse is not on staff, a hospital may call one to come in and perform the exam.  In addition, the emergency department may have a relationship with a local sexual assault advocacy agency, which may provide an advocate to assist the survivor, at her request. Many victims do not seek assistance; studies show that only 14-43% of survivors seek help from such services.



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