What to Expect
A wide-range of services will be offered to you during your appointment at The Cottage, depending upon the reason for your visit. You will be assigned to a victim advocate who will inform you of your rights as a victim and assist you with identifying your needs and the resources you will need to meet those needs. These services may include, but are not limited to, crisis intervention, medical and/or legal advocacy, medical-forensic services, mental health counseling, assistance with securing a temporary order of protection, assistance filing for state crime victim compensation benefits, and referrals to community resources such as food and housing assistance, clothing assistance, transportation assistance, and other social programs and assistance available to victims of crime and their loved ones. Our organization offers teleadvocacy, telehealth, and telecounseling services to increase accessibility and utilization of services while remaining safe and healthy.
No suspected or alleged perpetrators or non-supportive caregivers are permitted anywhere on the premises during your appointment.
Pediatric & Adolescent
You will receive high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered, trauma-informed care provided by a highly trained and experienced medical-forensic provider in a private, controlled, community-based setting. Our provider will ask about your medical history. You will also be asked to provide a detailed history of the sexual assault, which may include, but is not limited to details such as the date and time it occurred, where it occurred, name of the perpetrator, description of the perpetrator, what acts were perpetrated during the assault, how many times each act was perpetrated, what threats were made by the perpetrator, if a condom was utilized, and what hygiene measures you have taken since that time (ie: shower, bath, washed or brushed hair, brushed teeth, etc.). Our provider will explain the examination process to you, answer any questions and address any concerns you may have, and ask you to sign consents allowing the provider to perform the examination and provide treatment to you.
You are allowed to have a support person and/or advocate present during the examination process if you so choose. If you are wearing the clothing you wore during the assault, you will be asked to provide it as evidence, and it will be placed into bags and turned over to law enforcement. If you have already changed clothes, you may be asked to provide your panties or underwear as evidence. The provider will ask you to change into a gown. Depending upon the history provided, you may be asked to provide a blood sample. Our provider will perform a head-to-toe physical examination, and a florescent lamp that allows visualization of evidence that cannot be seen with the naked eye may also be utilized during that process. Photographs or video may be taken to document any bruises, scrapes, cuts, or other potential injuries identified during the physical examination process. The provider may collect potential evidence from different parts of your body, inside your mouth, and under your fingernails utilizing cotton swabs. Any debris identified on your skin may also be collected. Our provider will also examine the genital and anal areas for any injuries, including “micro injuries” that may not be visible to the naked eye, and collect possible evidence utilizing cotton swabs.
After the examination our provider will discuss with you a plan of care that may include the need for additional medical care, such as lab testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI) and pregnancy, x-rays, medications (including STI prevention and emergency contraception), immunizations, and/or follow-up examinations, including where, how, and when to obtain that care. The provider will also discuss what other steps need to be taken and place referrals for any additional services you may need to facilitate proper healing after the sexual assault.
You may REFUSE any part(s) of the examination you so choose.