"I am not a victim, I am a survivor."
Bay of Plenty Sexual Support Services is a specialist medical and support service for children, teenagers and adults who have been sexually assaulted.
We understand it can be scary to see a doctor after you have been sexually assaulted and it is normal to feel this way.
Sometimes we see people a long time after they have been sexually assaulted, and for those people we can offer a medical examination within normal work hours.
This includes offering you screening for infections.
If you have been very recently assaulted, like within the last week, we can offer you a few other choices, depending on if you want to tell the police about what has happened to you.
1. I wish to proceed with a forensic examination and police statement:
If you have been assaulted within the last week we can offer you a medical examination that not only checks your body to make sure it is ok, but we can also take samples for the police which they can use as evidence, known as a forensic examination.
Specimens, including samples for DNA tests will be collected for the police to use in a possible criminal investigation and prosecution.
The doctor will look very closely at your whole body and will write their findings very carefully, with a copy of the doctors notes going to the police and to the laboratory that will look at your samples.
After this examination the specimens and a record of the findings will be handed over to the police and they will ask you for a full statement.
2. I wish to leave my options open:
This is an option if you have not yet decided if you want to tell the police what happened.
A medical forensic examination can be done to collect possible DNA evidence.
However, instead of giving the evidence to the police we can safely store it for you, so that you have time to think about what you want to do. We can keep this evidence for six months.
No information will be passed on to the police unless that’s what you want us to do.
We will contact you if we haven’t heard from you to ask if you want us to hand the evidence over to the police or if you want us to get rid of it.
3. I would like to help the police but I don’t want to make a statement:
This is an option if you do NOT want to be involved in a police investigation or court case but you would still like to help the police.
You can agree to a medical forensic examination, with samples collected for evidence which we can give to the police.
This is useful when the police think that there may be a link to other crimes, and the police want to know if the person who sexually abused you has done this to other people.
Police may wish to contact you in the future if someone else has been sexually assaulted, and the samples taken from their body match the samples taken from your body, or if a someone else is assaulted in a similar way to you and the police think that the assaults may be linked.
You may want to help the police by giving details of what happened to you, without giving the police medical samples.
You may want to meet or talk with the police in person. Or you may not want the police to know who you are in which case you can contact Crimestoppers who will listen to what you want to say, and then will pass this on to the police.
4. I would like to see a doctor only:
If you don’t want the police to know what happened to you, you don’t have to tell them.
You can still meet with one of our doctors, who will give you the medical care you need.
Everything you tell us remains confidential.