Timescales for medical care

Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

HIV risk assessment should be conducted within 72 hours of assault and consideration given to HIV PEP. PEP must be taken within 72 hours of exposure to the virus to be effective. This risk assessment can be carried out by the SARC.

Post coital emergency contraception

Post coital contraception is available until 5 days post assault and can include consideration for an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD) such as a copper coil.

The SARCs are able to offer post coital contraception in the form of the Emergency Hormonal Contraception Pill (EHC) or ‘morning after pill’. We are unable to fit an IUD but can arrange for you to have one fitted at a Devon Sexual Health clinic, or clinic near to you.

Forensic examination

The collection of certain forensic samples will be determined by the nature of the assault. The 10 day window is a guideline.

Assault Forensic Window
Vaginal Penetration 10 days
Anal Penetration 72 hours
Oral Penetration 48 hours
Digital Penetration 48 hours
Physical Injuries can be documented when present


Emergency medical needs always outweigh the need to collect evidence.

Clothing, tampons, toothbrushes, etc. can all be saved to provide evidence.