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Preserving Physical Evidence


Victims/survivors of sexual assault, regardless of whether they have filed or are still deciding to file a report, should attempt to preserve physical evidence that could aid in a criminal prosecution or in obtaining a protective order.  Physical evidence should be collected immediately, ideally within the first 24 hours.

Victims/survivors should avoid drinking, eating, rinsing mouth, brushing teeth, showering, douching, combing hair, and washing clothes/bedding.  If clothes/bedding from the time of the incident were changed, the items should be carefully placed into a paper (not plastic) bag and the bag given to the police.  If the victim/survivor believes he/she may have been drugged, the chances of getting proof is best if testing is performed immediately, although traces of the drug may still appear up to 96 hours after ingestion (depending on dosage and individual metabolism).  Consider getting a forensic rape exam (rape kit) ASAP.  Completing a forensic rape exam does not require you to file a police report.

Additionally, if possible, document any contact with the perpetrator — write down dates, times, and locations and preserve texts, emails, and/or social media postings related to the incident.


Title IX Office
Killam Library, Room 159B
5201 University Boulevard
Laredo, Texas 78041

Email: TitleIX@tamiu.edu
Telephone: (956) 326-2857
Facsimile: (956) 326-2359