Seek Medical Assistance

Individuals who have experienced a recent sexual assault or physical violence are strongly encouraged to visit a hospital, clinic, or the University Health Center to assess and address their medical needs. (The University Health Center does not perform emergency medical care or Sexual Assault Forensic Examinations. However, the Health Center will provide non emergent care and medical follow up, including attention to injuries and evaluation for STI’s and pregnancy.) A medical exam can assess a victim’s injuries and provide necessary medical advice and medication. Victims should be advised that information provided during a medical exam is confidential and will not be released or shared without the victim’s consent.

Victims of sexual assault should also know of their option to undergo a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam. These exams are performed by skilled clinicians at local hospitals. The exam includes assessment for and treatment of injury, addressing concerns of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), and collection of evidence.

Victims of sexual assault should be advised as follows:

  • That choosing to undergo a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam does not require that the victim report the violence to police or university administration. However, the exam is strongly recommended as it will greatly enhance the likelihood of a successful prosecution of the assailant in a criminal case, should the victim choose to report the incident now or in the future.
  • That it is important not to bathe, wash, change clothes, or brush one’s teeth prior to seeking medical attention. If possible, it is also best that the victim not take fluids or use the bathroom prior to the exam.
  • That for the purposes of evidence collection, the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam should be conducted within 96 hours of the assault. However, even if 96 hours have elapsed, the exam is still recommended.
  • That the Sexual Assault Forensic Exam is free, and does not have to be charged to the victim’s insurance.
  • That information provided during a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam is confidential, and will not be released or shared with anyone, including Police and the University, without the victim’s consent.
  • The New York State Office of Victim Services may be able to assist in compensating victims/survivors for health care and counseling services, including emergency funds. More information may be found on the agency's website, or by calling 1-800-247-8035. Options are explained their crime victims help page.

If a victim of sexual misconduct chooses to obtain medical care, assistance can be provided in arranging for transportation to the hospital or clinic chosen by the victim or to the University Health Center. Victims should be informed that they can request that an advocate accompany them to the hospital. Advocates are available through the University’s Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence and Albany County Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center.

Further Assistance

  • Albany Medical Center:
    518-262-3131
  • Albany Memorial Hospital University Health Center:
    518-271-3257 or 518-442-5454
  • Advocacy Center:
    518-442-CARE
  • Albany County Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center:
    518-447-7100