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.
Domestic Violence Intake Center (exams offered Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10-5)
United Medical Center
1328 Southern Avenue SE Suite 311
Washington DC 20032
Car: Google Map directions
Metro/bus: Take the green line to the Southern Ave metro station (walk half a mile southwest to #1328)
The Lighthouse Center for Healing (exams offered Wednesday by appointment only)
5321 First Place NE
Washington, DC 20011
Car: Google map directions
Metro/bus: Take the red line to the Fort Totten metro station. Either walk half a mile northwest to 5321 First Place NE or take one of three buses: the E3 toward Friendship Heights Station, the E4 toward Riggs Park or the 64 towards Federal Triangle. Exit at NE 1st Place & NE Riggs Rd, which is right in front of the Lighthouse – 5321 First Place NE.
Before the Exam
If you come to the Domestic Violence Intake Center for your exam, you will first meet with an advocate from SAFE (Survivors & Advocates for Empowerment). If you have your exam at the Lighthouse Center for Healing, you will speak with an advocate by phone and arrange to later meet in person. 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 [FAQs].
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.