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Filing a Report Preserving Evidence

Preserving Evidence

Regardless of whether an incident of sexual misconduct is reported to the police or the University, ESU strongly encourages individuals who have experienced sexual misconduct to preserve evidence to the greatest extent possible, as this will best preserve legal options for them in the future.

Below are some suggestions for preserving evidence related to an incident of sexual misconduct. It is important to keep in mind that these suggestions may not all apply in every incident:

In General:

  • Do not alter, dispose of, or destroy any physical evidence of sexual misconduct.
  • If there is suspicion a drink may have been drugged, inform a medical professional or law enforcement as soon as possible so that evidence may be collected.
  • Save electronic communication by backing them up, printing them, or taking screenshots of text messages, photos, or other app-based communication.
  • Within 48-96 hours of an incident, consider going to a hospital or other medical facility to seek a medical examination and/or forensic examination. Cost of a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) forensic exam is covered by the county in which it occurs.
  • Do not shower, bathe, douche, smoke, brush teeth, eat, drink, use the restroom, or change clothing or bedding before going to the hospital or seeking medical attention.
  • If changes in bedding or clothing do occur, do not wash clothing or bedding, and bring them with you to the medical facility in a paper bag.