Seeking medical attention after sexual assault or intimate partner violence can be scary. But when people need that care, Inova Fairfax Hospital’s Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT) provides medical and forensic examinations. Here’s how to access those exams: A member of FACT will contact our Domestic and Sexual Violence 24-Hour Hotline upon your arrival to request accompaniment services, or you may call the hotline directly (703-360-7273). Our trained Hospital Accompaniment Advocates are available to you whether you report the assault to the police or not. Advocates provide emotional support, answer questions about your reporting options, stay with you while evidence is collected, and share information about available resources. The advocate’s role is to provide support prior to, during, and after the examination.
This exam allows evidence to be secured while giving you time to consider whether you want to report the assault. But a police report is not required for you to go through the exam.
- Sexual Assault – Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) exam is a medical and forensic exam for those who have been sexually assaulted to examine, treat, and document any injury, as well as to collect and document any evidence of the violence (e.g., bruises, scratches, handprints). This includes a vaginal exam for fluids, hairs, and fibers, and can include a strangulation exam.
- Intimate Partner Violence – This medical and forensic exam is for those who have been physically assaulted to examine, treat, and document any injury and collect and document any evidence of the violence (e.g., bruises, scratches, handprints). It can include a strangulation exam.
- Strangulation – This medical and forensic exam looks for signs and symptoms of strangulation and involves evidence collection and addressing any health issues that can result from airway or circulatory impairment.
If you have been a victim of sexual assault or intimate partner violence you may choose or not choose to do any of the following:
- have a forensic exam in which a specially trained nurse collects forensic evidence after the assault. Note that most exams must be conducted within five days following the assault.
- report to the police.
- receive information and referrals for additional services.
- accept or decline any part of the forensic exam process.
Advocates will be with you every step of the way to make sure you understand your rights.
We provide free services* to anyone who has experienced sexual assault or intimate partner violence regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, or sexual orientation.
*The Virginia Victims Compensation Fund pays for the cost of the exam. .