[Medical examination of sexual assault victims].Ther Umsch. 1997 May; 54(5):225-31.TU
Two vital tasks have to be taken into account in the examination of a victim and, if necessary, of one or more suspects also: Firstly, medical evidence must be reliably obtained, and secondly, the knowledge based on the findings obtained must, as soon as the victim has decided to notify the police, be interpreted in an expert form so that apart from explaining the criminal matters to an examining judge, i.e. a medical layman, it allows a legal assessment of the incident. Doctors in general practice and working in hospitals may occasionally be entrusted with the examination of sexual assault victims. As a rule, a forensic examination is only performed if a victim has notified the police and this examination and opinion are requested by the police or court. The most pressing medical task in such examinations is to confirm the assault and to undertake correct documentation and exhibition of biological traces. As has been shown by regular questioning of doctors, there is considerable uncertainty concerning the nature and method of correct documentation of the findings as well as the techniques for preparing exhibits. Each institute of forensic medicine in Switzerland maintains a flying service and keeps doctors available for advice round the clock; they can best be contacted through the emergency numbers of the local police forces.