What to expect before, during and after an IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) exam
If you’re not safe, call 9-1-1. Then call our hotline at 800-407-5048.
If you’re considering pressing charges, you may want to bring items from the crime scene that could possibly be used as evidence. You can bring these items in a paper bag. Evidence will be held for 90 days for unreported crimes and until trial for reported crimes.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center Emergency Department (exams offered 24/7/365)
110 Irving Street, NW
Washington, DC 20010.
If coming by Metro, exit at the Brookland/CUA stop on the RED line. Exit the station to the right and take the H2 (Van Ness) or H4 (Tenley Town) bus to MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Buses leave every 10 minutes.
If coming by Car: Google Map directions
Before the Exam
If you call the DC SAFE hotline at 800-407-5048, an advocate from SAFE (Survivors & Advocates for Empowerment) can speak with you by phone and meet you in person at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center Emergency Department for your exam. The advocate can:
- address safety planning (have your locks changed, install a security system, etc)
- provide information on both criminal and civil legal processes
- help you to find safe housing/shelter
- assist you in obtaining a Temporary Protection Order (TPO)
- connect you with other services you need such as counseling and Crime Victim’s Compensation
If you are concerned about your safety, we will alert the onsite security personnel before the exam begins and conceal your name in the computer system. No visitors are allowed during the exam itself.
The exam is done free of charge. During these victim-centered exams, we document current and past abuse that could be beneficial in criminal or civil legal proceedings. Exams typically take 1-2 hours but may take longer depending on the injuries present.
We will begin by explaining your options with regard to reporting or not reporting the incident to police (it is not required to qualify for the exam). We will also explain our mandatory reporting requirements.
We will then take a medical history and ask you for an accounting of the incident and history of past violence by the same abuser, if any.
We will look for injuries during our head-to-toe physical exam and will carefully document them with forensic photography. We will utilize an Alternative Light Source (ALS) during the exam, which can reveal injuries unseen to the human eye.