Right torso view of a girl in a light blue flowered dress with folded arms

Supply with forensics

Supply with forensics

Most injuries and traces can be determined in the first hours and days after the crime. In this way, stressful late or long-term consequences can be limited. However, medical treatment is also sensible at any later point in time and in the interest of those affected. Therefore, there should be no hesitation in seeking medical care - even if there are no visible injuries. The medical examination can be carried out immediately after the crime in the gynaecological outpatient department of a clinic or a few days later in a gynaecological practice.

Documentation of the injuries makes it possible to verify the statements of those affected about what happened. This can be important for criminal proceedings (reporting) but also for civil proceedings (damages, compensation for pain and suffering). Perhaps this does not seem so important to the person concerned at the time, but it can change in the further course of events. A good diagnosis cannot be made up for.

If trafficked persons opt for an examination with a medical confidentiality report, traces and injuries caused by the violent act on the body can be secured. If the victim later decides to file a complaint, these findings can support the complaint. The medical examination and findings also make sense without visible external injuries.

Changing clothes, cleaning them and showering destroy traces. If it is possible for affected persons, they should not shower before the examination. Used hygiene items (tampons, panty liners, etc.) and underwear can be brought to the clinic. They can be kept together with the other findings. Clothing, bed linen or similar items damaged and soiled by the crime should also be stored in a safe place - not airtight in plastic bags, but in paper bags if possible.

The medical examination and securing of findings can be carried out in the gynaecological outpatient department of one of the listed clinics. Gynaecological surgeries are only equipped for securing findings in very rare cases. Those affected are asked to contact the clinic if possible to have their findings secured confidentially.

  • Accompaniment to the examination

    Depending on how the person is feeling, the presence of close relatives or trusted persons can be very helpful for you. An accompanying person is not always allowed to accompany the patient into the examination room - but they can take part in the information session and also provide mental support for the patient.

  • Joint conversation

    When talking to medical professionals, victims should tell them as much as possible about what happened, so that they can get an idea of possible injuries - and can examine and care for them comprehensively. The medical staff is bound by medical confidentiality. They will not decide anything over the head of the person concerned or against their will - even the police must not be informed if the person concerned does not wish it. There is no duty to report to the medical profession. Affected persons should consult with them on how they wish to proceed.

  • Examination and doctor's letter

    In Hesse, the investigation is conducted according to a guideline that provides for the following steps:

    • Information meeting
    • physical examination
    • Genital examination
    • Clarification of health protection measures (vaccinations for open wounds, disinfecting suppositories etc.)
    • if necessary, affected persons receive a doctor's letter for any further treatment required.

    For the collection of blood and urine for testing for HIV, hepatitis (B+C) or for a pregnancy test, the separate consent of the person concerned is required. The swab for testing for sexually transmitted diseases should be analysed promptly. If the suspicion of an infection is confirmed or if further treatment is needed, the affected person will receive a doctor's letter for further treatment. The costs of the examination can usually be covered by the health insurance. If further costs arise, the affected person will be informed before the examination and treatment begin so that they can agree or refuse.

    In the case of securing findings, there will be a reduced collection and securing of traces - for reasons of cost, but also because of a lack of proper storage possibilities: Saliva, hair, DNA-ready material can be dried and stored. Blood and urine must either be examined promptly and expensively in the laboratory or stored frozen in a processed form. This is not possible everywhere. The findings that are important for possible criminal prosecution are stored for a fixed period of time (see below).

    As with other examinations, a patient file is created in which all results and findings are recorded. This can be useful if the person concerned later decides to press charges. Victims then inform the police that an examination has been carried out and release the hospital treating them from their duty of confidentiality. In this case, a copy of the documents from the file and the findings are handed over to the investigating authority. In later proceedings in court, the medical personnel can be summoned to testify. If affected persons do not wish to press charges, the documents on the findings will be destroyed after the usual time limits have expired.

  • Examination in a forensic institute

    A comprehensive physical examination for the consequences of injuries and traces of the crime can also be carried out in an institute of forensic medicine. The costs must be borne by the person concerned - and can be reimbursed later in the case of a criminal complaint. As a rule, however, a gynaecological or urological examination is not possible there.

    Institute of Forensic Medicine
    Department of Molecular Biology
    Frankfurter Straße 58
    35392 Gießen
    Phone (06 41) 9 94 14 11
    Fax (06 41) 9 94 14 19
    E-mail: rechtsmedizin@forens.med.uni-giessen.de

    Drop-off times:
    Mon - Thurs: 7.30 -15.00
    Fri: 7.30 -13.00

  • Preservation of findings & evidence

    In Hesse, the storage of findings is not possible everywhere. In Frankfurt am Main, the seized material can be given by the clinic to the Institute for Forensic Medicine for storage. There, the packaged material is stored and only handed over to the police in the event that charges are filed.

    The retention period at Frankfurt Forensic Medicine is currently one year. After this period, the samples and findings are automatically destroyed. Attention: The persons concerned are no longer informed separately about this! This means that they must decide within one year whether the findings should be used. Regardless of this, charges can be filed up to 20 years after the offence.