Violence Against Women: A Site Dedicated to Providing Information and Resources for Health Care Providers & Survivors of Violence against Women Violence against Women
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Health Care Providers > Sexual Assault > Chain of Custody

Maintaining a Chain of Custody

It is important that the hospital has a protocol for maintaining a chain of custody for the collected evidence. Results of the evidence collected are extremely valuable for the victim to charge the perpetrator of sexual violence in the court of law. Any tampering with the evidence collected or loss of evidence during the process might lead to valuable information being lost.

- The hospital should set a protocol for handling of evidence collected and define the roles of personnel involved in evidence collection clearly. An example of a Standard Operating Protocol is available here.

- Handling of evidence should be with extreme caution.

- As soon as the evidence is collected it should be sealed, labelled and handed over to the appropriate authority.

- No where during the process should the evidence be left open or unattended.

- In case the evidence is staying in the hospital for more than 24 hours then it should be refrigerated.  


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