Sexual assault patients in Virginia will receive a consistently high quality of healthcare in all facilities providing treatment, regardless of the circumstances of the assault or the patient’s involvement with the criminal justice system.


Guidelines (PDF)








Virginia's Healthcare Response to Sexual Assault: Guidelines for the Acute Care of Adult and Post-Pubertal Adolescent Sexual Assault Patients

In 2007, the Governor’s Commission on Sexual Violence recommended the development of a consistent healthcare response to sexual assault statewide in order to increase access to quality forensic and medical services.  Subsequently, a multidisciplinary team of dedicated healthcare providers, criminal justice professionals, sexual assault victim advocates, and survivors of sexual assault was convened to commence this effort. These new guidelines are the culmination of their efforts, replacing “Virginia’s Hospital Protocol for the Treatment of Sexual Assault Victims” that was developed in 1990. 

The document incorporates recommendations from professionals across Virginia, as well as information from current guidelines from relevant state and national resources on the management of sexual assault patients and the collection of forensic evidence. The guidelines provide a framework for the critical role of the healthcare sector in meeting the needs of sexual assault patients and the criminal justice system. They are organized around four fundamental criteria and were developed to address the healthcare response at the community, facility, and individual levels.

While these guidelines were developed specifically for healthcare professionals and facilities, the healthcare sector is just one component of a comprehensive response to sexual violence.  These guidelines will also be a valuable component of statewide efforts to establish coordinated, collaborative, and compassionate responses to sexual violence in every community in Virginia.

For more information email Kristine Hall or call 804-377-0335.