Right side torso view of girl in 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 useful at any later point in time and is 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 performed immediately after the act in the gynecological outpatient clinic of a clinic or a few days later in a gynecological practice.

Documentation of the injuries makes it possible to verify the statements made by the person 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 those affected at the moment, but it can change in the further course of events. A good diagnosis cannot be made up for.

If victims decide to undergo an examination with medical confidentiality, traces and injuries caused by the violent act on the body can be secured. If victims later decide to press charges after all, these findings can support the charges. The medical examination and findings are also useful 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, bedding 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 performed in the gynecological outpatient clinic of one of the listed clinics. Gynecological practices are only equipped for securing findings in very rare cases. Affected persons are requested to contact the clinic for confidential securing of findings, if possible.

  • Accompaniment to the examination

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

  • Joint conversation

    Affected persons should report what has happened as precisely as possible in conversation with the medical professionals so that they can form a picture of possible injuries - and examine and care for them comprehensively. The healthcare professionals are bound by medical confidentiality. They will not decide anything over the head of the person concerned or against their will - even the police may 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 as to how they wish to proceed.

  • Examination and doctor's letter

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

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

    Separate consent is required for the collection of blood and urine for testing for HIV, hepatitis (B+C) or for a pregnancy test. The swab for testing for sexually transmitted diseases should be analyzed promptly. If the suspicion of an infection is confirmed or if further treatment is required, those affected 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 are incurred, the patient will be informed before the examination and treatment begin so that he or she can agree or refuse.

    In the case of securing findings, there will be a reduced recording and securing of traces - for reasons of cost, but also due to a lack of proper storage options: Saliva, hair, DNA-able material can be dried and stored. Blood and urine must either be promptly and expensively examined 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 subsequent proceedings in court, the healthcare professional may be summoned to testify. If affected persons do not wish to press charges, the records of the findings will be destroyed after the usual time limits have expired.

  • Examination in a forensic medical institute

    A comprehensive physical examination for the consequences of injuries and traces of the crime can also be carried out in a forensic medical institute. The costs must be borne by the person concerned - and can be reimbursed later in the event of a criminal complaint. As a rule, however, a gynecological 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 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Fri: 7:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

  • 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 of 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, a report can be filed up to 20 years after the crime.