Collection and proper handling of all physical evidence from a rape victim is essential for the identification and conviction of the perpetuator.


Person to collect: This is best done by a person specially trained to work with rape victims. If such a person is not available, then a physician should collect the specimens, being careful to adhere to chain of custody at all times.


Materials required:

(1) sterile normal saline solution for rinsing

(2) sterile swabs

(3) small bags and labels

(4) marking pen

(5) evidence container with security tape

(6) clean sheets of paper for the person to stand on while the examination is performed

(7) camera

(8) blood collection equipment

(9) clean fingernail scraper


Items to collect:

(1) all clothing and shoes

(2) debris or artifacts

(3) biological samples

(4) control materials to use as reference material

(5) sheet of paper the person was standing on



head hair

carefully combed for adherent material

pubic hair

carefully combed for adherent material

excess body hair

carefully combed for adherent material

genital (vaginal or penile)

swab and aspirate


swab, oral rinse


nasal discharge blown into a cloth






without anticoagulant or preservative


Control materials include:

(1) patient's head, body and pubic hairs

(2) solutions used for washings

(3) unopened swab



(1) All items should be packaged separately in a properly labeled bag.

(2) All items should be carefully documented in legible writing.

(3) All of the material should be sealed with security tape and handled with chain of custody.



• A careful rapist may wear a condom, gloves and take other steps to reduce the amount of physical evidence available to document the crime.


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