If you think you may want to report the assault to the police either now or in the future, we recommend that you go to the emergency room within 120 hours. Try not to bathe, change your clothes, brush your teeth, or use the bathroom (if you can help it). If you've already bathed, it is still possible to collect evidence. If you've already changed, preserve your clothes in a clean grocery or Ziploc bag. The Outer Banks Hotline advocates are on call 24 hours a day to accompany sexual assault survivors to the emergency room.
Forensic Evidence Collection
The Outer Banks Hospital Emergency Room will have the training and tools to perform a PERK exam. A P.E.R.K is a special medical exam given to people who have been sexually assaulted to collect evidence that may be helpful in the investigation and prosecution of the sexual assault. If at any time you are uncomfortable with any part of the exam, you have the right to stop the exam.
Reporting the Assault
If you are prepared to report the assault, you may ask the doctor or nurse to contact the police. The police will most likely come to the hospital to talk to you about what happened. Their top priority is to collect time-sensitive evidence from the suspect(s), witnesses, and the crime scene(s) to contribute to a successful prosecution. They will also pick up the evidence collected from the P.E.R.K. exam.
If at any time you are uncomfortable with any part of the PERK exam, you have the right to stop the exam.
You may have evidence collected and stored, even if you are not ready to talk to the police.
You deserve support. There are people in your community who care and can help.
Call the Outer Banks Hotline at (252) 473-3366 for help.