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Emergency Care for Sexual Assault Victims

Sexual assault can happen to anyone and is never the victim's fault.

If you or someone you know is the victim of sexual assault, UPMC emergency rooms can give you support and care.

Why Should a Victim of Sexual Assault Go to the ER?

Seeking care for sexual assault right away is crucial.

You may need treatment for injuries, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), or pregnancy.

Even if you don't want evidence collected or to file a police report, caring for your health is vital.

What Will Happen at the ER?

To seek care after an assault, go to the ER as soon as you can.

Try not to:

  • Change (if you do change, bring your clothes with you).
  • Bathe.
  • Eat.
  • Drink.
  • Go to the bathroom.
  • Brush your teeth.

You can say no to any part of the exam that you're not comfortable with.

When you're at the ER:

  • A doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant will screen you and check your health.
  • With your consent, a nurse will take an account of the assault and do a thorough exam of your body. This exam will help them see where they might collect DNA. They'll also take records of any biological and physical findings.
  • We'll offer you treatment and medicine to prevent an STI and pregnancy, according to established protocols.
  • You'll receive details on follow-up, community-based sexual assault support services, and law enforcement partners.

In Allegheny County, you can ask the ER staff to call the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape at 1-866-363-7273. They'll send an in-person advocate to meet you at the hospital.

To find your county's rape crisis center, visit Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.

Resources for Sexual Assault

If you've been the victim of assault, do not hesitate to get help. Call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

Learn more at: