Anonymous Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits

Did you know that a sexual assault survivor can have evidence collected without having to file a report with law enforcement?

In 2010, HB 3677 was passed to bring South Carolina into compliance with the Violence Against Women Act.  This allows survivors of sexual assault to have an evidence collection kit performed anonymously.  If a survivor is over the age of 18, the assault happened within 120 hours, and the survivor is hesitant to report to law enforcement then the survivor can request an anonymous evidence collection kit at the hospital.  The hospital will call the forensic nurse examiner and the STSM advocate to the hospital, but will not call law enforcement.  The forensic nurse examiner will interview the survivor to record the assault history and then collect evidence.  The evidence is sealed with no identifying information and stored in evidence by the appropriate law enforcement division.  The kit can be held as evidence for up to one year and then will be destroyed if the survivor does not decide to report the assault.  If after 11 months the survivor has not reported the assault to law enforcement, the rape crisis agency will contact the survivor to let the survivor know the kit will be destroyed unless a law enforcement report is filed.

If a survivor is reporting a marital assault the survivor can still receive an anonymous kit. Because there is a 30 day statute of limitations for reporting marital assault, the survivor will only have 30 days to report the incident to law enforcement before the kit is destroyed.  

If you have questions about anonymous kits, please contact STSM.