Hospital Advocacy & Evidence Collection Kits

  • Evidence Collection Kit: An Option Within the First 120 Hours

    Going to the Emergency Room at your local hospital is an option for survivors of sexual violence. 

    In deciding what options is best for you, it is recommended that an Evidence Collection Kit be completed within 120 hours (5 days)* of experiencing sexual violence.

    *This timeline is decided based on the degradation rate of DNA and biological material. 120 hours or 5 days is the recommended "window" to have the Evidence Collection Kit completed, because it is less likely that evidence will still be present outside of this window. 

    If this option feels like it is something you would like to explore, there are many individuals who can support you in accessing this resource.

    • A counselor at the Women and Families' Center (WFC) can accompany students to the Emergency Room and support you during the Evidence Collection Kit process. 
    • Public Safety can provide rides to the hospital
    • You can contact a Davison Health Center provider prior to visiting the ER, who can then alert the ER, and the ER staff can make sure appropriate support staff and a WFC Advocate is available for you.
    • CAPS Therapists and the Counselors/Advocates at the WFC are on-call 24/7, if you would like support after or before taking this step.
    • The SHAPE Director is available to answer questions or concerns you may have about the process in anticipation of going to the hospital. 
  • What is an Evidence Collection Kit?

    An Evidence Collection Kit, formally known as the "CT 100" in Connecticut, is a procedure performed by trained nurses at the hospital to collect forensic evidence from someone’s body following a sexual assault. It includes a series of steps to collect different types of forensic material. It can be used in a criminal case, but does not require someone report to the police when the kit is administered. 

    The purpose of the CT 100 is not to verify that someone has been assaulted. It is designed to collect physical, forensic evidence that may be present and document that evidence collection process. It does not "prove" an assault happened or that consent was not present. 

    The CT 100 kit is standard in usage and materials. It is available to everyone and anyone regardless of gender identity/expression, and is inherently "non-gendered" in application. In addition, anyone regardless of immigration status can receive this treatment—there is no issue with “funding” tied to citizenship, so this is information someone does not need to provide (and should not be asked in the first place).

    More information about the CT 100 Kit, Evidence Collection Process, and Medical Response for those who have experienced sexual violence overall can be found in the  Connecticut State Guidelines for the Health Care Response to Survivors of Sexual Assault.

  • Chain of Custody & Reporting to Local Police

    You do not have to report to the police to have an Evidence Collection Kit completed. 

    Once the kit has been completed, and sealed with the red evidence seals, the chain of custody is a critical process which ensures the evidence remains viable to hold up in a court of law. The examiner should take all precautions to ensure that the unsealed kit is not out of their presence until they are able to hand it off to the police officer coming to take the kit. From the police officer, the kit is then transferred within 60 days to the CT Forensic Laboratory.

    If for some reason the examiner needs to leave the kit unsealed then they must:

    • Transfer temporary custody to another health care professional (not a WFC advocate) and document it.
    • Seal all collected specimens in the kit, and upon returning open a new kit and finish collecting the evidence.
  • FAQs About Hospital Advocacy & Evidence Collection Kits

    How much does the Evidence Collection Kit cost?

    The kit is free to anyone who has experienced sexual assault. The cost is covered by the Connecticut Office of Victim Services.

    Will any of the care I receive through this process show up on my insurance, or my parent's insurance?

    Yes. If you give your insurance information to the Hospital staff, it may be processed through your insurance or appear on the Explanation of Benefits, which is sent monthly to the insurance carrier (which may be your parents, if you are on your parents' insurance still). 

    In addition, if you are transported to the hospital via an ambulance to have an Evidence Collection Kit completed, this charge will show up on an Explanation of Benefits as well. The charge itself may be reimbursed by the Connecticut Office of Victim Services (if all other eligibility requirements are met). 

    Can I have do the Evidence Collection Kit Anonymously?

    Yes. A standard "control number" can be used to replace your name the forms accompanying the Evidence Collection Kit, as well as labeling it. If you decide that you would like to report to the police at a later date, your kit can still be found and used in your case, if you so choose.

    How can I get to the hospital, if I don't have a car?

    Public Safety is available to transport students to the hospital, for any reason, including receiving an evidence collection kit. This transportation is free. You are not required to disclose the reason for why you need this transportation as well. You can generally say "I need to go to an appointment," if you do not want to specifically disclose your experience. 

    Who can I talk to if I have questions about this? 

    Consider talking to the SHAPE Director (860-685-2696) for more information or to explore your options. If you would like to speak to someone else, here are links to the Confidential Resources and Non-Confidential Resources on campus and in the community.