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December 6, 2023 Dec 06, 2023 3 min read

Rape Kit Exam Checklist (What to Bring)

Below is a list of things you should bring to the hospital with you when visiting for a rape kit exam. This checklist is designed to help you prepare for your exam fast and effectively. If you have one accessible, grab a backpack or large tote bag to easily transport your things.

The clothes you were wearing during the assault

Even if you’ve changed since then, the clothes you were wearing during or leading up to the assault could contain important DNA evidence that the nurse examiner will want to gather during your exam.

Anything you had with you during the assault that might have the perpetrator’s DNA on it (purse, accessories, etc.)

A comfortable change of clothes

Because some or all of your clothing might be collected as part of the evidence-gathering process, you will need a fresh pair of clothes to change into after the exam – preferably something warm (or weather appropriate) and comfortable.

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Clean underwear

Even if none of your other clothing is submitted into evidence, it’s very likely that the nurse examiner will want to collect your undergarments as a potential source of DNA evidence. As a result, you’ll want to bring a clean pair to change into after your exam.

A sanitary pad

Depending on the severity of your injuries, the internal and external examination of your genitals during the exam could result in some mild bleeding. If you are experiencing more serious bleeding, you will be provided with appropriate medical care during the exam.

Something to read, listen to, or watch

Rape kit exams are infamous for taking a long time, and you might have to spend a while in the waiting room before your exam even starts. Having something to keep yourself occupied can be a good way to pass the time and bring yourself a bit of comfort while you wait.

Water and snacks

Although most hospitals have drinking fountains and vending machines, you might want to consider bringing your own water bottle and snacks with you.

A supportive friend or loved one

If there’s someone you trust who might be willing to accompany you, this is a great way to feel more supported, safe, and comfortable during the exam process. Sexual assault advocacy organizations also offer accompaniment services for victims who want a trained social worker with them during their exam.

This is just a brief overview of what you’ll need to bring with you when you go to the hospital for a rape kit exam. To make sure you’re fully prepared for the process, check out our article titled “How to Prepare for a Rape Kit Exam.” If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to have a rape kit done, check out “Should I Get a Rape Kit Done? (Pros and Cons).”

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