Rape evidence kit: simplified procedures for the emergency department

JACEP. 1976 Nov;5(11):890-3. doi: 10.1016/s0361-1124(76)80037-8.


The crime of rape requires medical evaluation and therapy concomitant with the collection of legal evidence for potential prosecution. A practical, inexpensive evidence kit has been disigned that meets the needs of the local health department, police department, hospital emergency centers, and district attorney personnel. Costs of assembly and specimen analysis are assumed by the police department. Chain of custody is assured through tamper-proof bags, appropriate reporting forms and police involvement in specimen pick-up. Victims participate in chain of custody by sharing in collection and authorization. The requirement for physician appearance in court is thus lessened. Standardization of examination and reporting prompts all community hospitals to share in examinations, preventing over loading of a single, busy facility. Six months' experience had borne out the anticipated simplification of collection, standardization of reporting, and reduction of physician involvement in legal procedures.

MeSH terms

  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jurisprudence
  • Physical Examination
  • Rape*
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • United States