Information for Teenagers and Parents
What happens when I come and visit?
Our specialist doctors or nurses will discuss the incident with the police while you are looked after by the support worker. The doctor or nurse will then carry out a full medical assessment with you and a parent or carer (or the support worker if you prefer). This will involve a number of questions being asked, and you will be given the opportunity to ask questions too. A head-to-toe examination and samples for tests will be taken, This will be a forensic examination. If there are any findings or treatments needed this will be discussed after the examination. Police will then inform you of their next steps. While here visiting The Shores you may be asked by the police to give a video interview.
When I visit can I eat & drink?Yes, although sometimes police will need to take swabs from your mouth first. Support staff will check with the police, doctors and nurses.
How long will it take?The average time someone will spend here when they come for a forensic examination is approximately 4 hours.
What if I change my mind?If at any point you do not wish to carry on with the examination we can take a short break and discuss what part of the examination is left to do and see if we can get the most important information.
Who will be in the examination room?
There will be a doctor and/or female nurse in the room during the examination. You are more than welcome to have someone else in the room with you, if that is what you want. A police officer will also be present, behind a screen to label samples for evidence.
Will I be able to change my clothes?Yes. Sometimes it is useful for the police to take the clothes you have been wearing for evidence. We have a shower and changing facilities. If needed we will provide you with a change of clothes, unless the police have already advised you to bring your own.
What will happen during the examination?The doctor or nurse will want to have a careful look at you to check for any injuries and to make sure you are OK. A general examination is done first to check your general health and to look at your injuries. The doctor or nurse will need to look at your genital area with a magnifying instrument called a colposcope, which helps them to see clearly as it has a bright light. This enables them to record the examination for evidence which may be used in court. Photographs may also be taken if there are any injuries to be seen. Usually the doctor or nurse will need to take specific swabs, blood and a urine sample. Swabs are taken with a sterile cotton wool bud. The doctor or nurse will explain what they are doing at all times.
Can I be tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?We strongly recommend that young people who have been sexually assaulted or raped access a full STI test. We can also make you an appointment to attend your local sexual health clinic or to attend The Shores for a follow up 2 week appointment to be checked.
What will happen after my examination?Part of the process is for us to spend some time with you talking about ongoing medical care or treatments you might needs, such as contraception, vaccinations and STI testing and you may also be referred to a CYP ISVA (Children and Young Person's Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) who will support you prior to and during a court case, This will be done with your consent. A CYP ISVA can also help you access services such as counselling. With your consent Support staff can let your school nurse/mentor or a teacher know of your visit here in case of future difficulties at school, or if you wish to talk to someone about your incident. All phone calls are kept confidential and little information is passed on.
What happens to your confidential information we get from the examination?We understand that confidentiality is important to you. All doctors and nurses notes and recorded items are kept safely and securely at The Shores. Information may be shared with other agencies such as your GP or a social worker. All other information will be held in confidence unless there are concerns regarding child protection. In such cases we have a responsibility to share information with other agencies. If you have reported an assault to the police and your case goes to court, your medical notes may be requested by the court and the doctor or nurse can be asked to make a statement.
Final NoteWe understand you may be nervous about coming to The Shores and every effort will be made to ensure your visit to us is made as comfortable as possible.