In Virginia, victims of rape or sexual assault have the right to seek evidence collection at no cost; and have the right to have evidence collected through a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) without filing a police report. Costs associated with evidence collection may include:
- Emergency room physician fees
- Hospital and forensic examiner fees
- Testing for sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy
- Medications to prevent sexually transmitted infections and/or pregnancy
- Ambulance transport from a hospital unable to provide evidence collection to one that can
- Follow-up medical forensic examinations
Healthcare providers should bill the SAFE Payment Program directly. Victims should only receive a bill if they decided not to have evidence collected, or they received care or treatment not included in the list above. For questions about billing or eligibility, please call 1.800.552.4007.
HIV PreventionIf the healthcare provider determines that a victim should take medication to prevent HIV, the SAFE Payment Program can help by paying for the following:
- The full course (28-day supply) of HIV preventative medication
- Anti-nausea medication (up to a 30 day supply)
- Specific and limited follow-up medical care while taking the medication
The healthcare provider will help the patient locate a pharmacy to obtain the medication and provide a voucher for reimbursement to give to the pharmacy and follow-up medical care provider.
Rights Regarding Storage and Testing of Evidence
If the victim chooses not to report the crime, the PERK will not be tested and will be stored for a minimum of 2 years.
If, and when, the victim does report the crime, the police will take custody of the PERK and send it to the forensic lab within 60 days for testing. The victim has the right to request the status and results of the testing. Victims should make sure to keep their contact information up to date with the investigator and/or Commonwealth’s Attorney assigned to their case.
For more information regarding storage and testing of evidence, please visit the Department of Forensic Science website.
Other Available ResourcesThe Virginia Victims Fund may be able to provide financial assistance for these crime-related expenses:
- Medical treatment of injuries
- Moving or home security expenses
- Time missed from work
- Counseling expenses
- Replacement of clothing and/or bedding seized as evidence
- Replacement of glasses or other prosthetics
- Other crime-related expenses
Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline – 1.800.838.8238
Department of Criminal Justice INFO-LINE – 1.888.887.3418