Medical Care & Emergency Contraception

The North Coast Rape Crisis Team is available to speak with you about your questions regarding medical care, including concerns about payment options, access, and confidentiality. The NCRCT also provides advocates who can meet you at the hospital or clinic, free of charge. Call 24 hours a day: (707) 445-2881. HSU's Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) also has a 24 hour hotline at (707) 826-3236.

Mandated Reporting

Medical professionals in California are mandated reporters, which means they are required to notify law enforcement when treating an injury or illness caused by sexual assault. However, it is up to you to accept or deny contact with the police if they are called to the medical center. Receiving medical care does not mean that you are required to continue involvement with law enforcement. You have the right to share your experience of sexual violence at your own comfort level. It is important to understand that medical professionals may not be able to provide the best care for your needs without complete information.

If you are interested in reporting to law enforcement, there is another pathway to medical care, see the section below concerning the SART, which stands for Sexual Assault Response Team – and is the term used to describe the exam that provides for evidence collection used for prosecution.

Medical Concerns & Emergency Contraception

If you are concerned about physical injuries, sexually transmitted infections or pregnancy, you may want to obtain medical attention for the following reasons:

  • To treat any injuries that may have occurred during the assault. It is possible you have injuries that you are unaware of, such as internal bruising or lacerations, depending on the type of assault you survived.
  • To obtain antibiotics to treat sexually transmitted infections. Please remember, some STIs can be asymptomatic, meaning there are no physical indications that you have an infection.
  • To obtain emergency contraception, also known as the "morning after pill," which can be used to prevent pregnancy up to 120 hours (5 days) after a penile/vaginal assault or any other assault or activity that causes you concern regarding pregnancy.
    • The sooner emergency contraception is used, the more effective it will be.
    • If you are younger than 17 and need emergency contraception, you will most likely need a prescription (call the North Coast Rape Crisis Team, 24 hours a day, at (707) 445-2881 with questions), however in California, some pharmacists can provide Plan B One-Step to those younger than 17 without a prescription. You can call a local pharmacy to see if this is an option.
    • Call 1-888-NOT-2-LATE (1-888-688-2528) for more information or visit The Emergency Contraception Website.
  • To discuss other options if you are or may be pregnant. Medical professionals are trained to discuss a wide range of options.
  • For immediate counseling and/or referrals for counseling and other community resources.

You always have the right to refuse any medical treatment at any time. If you'd like to learn about your rights in California as a recipient of health care, you may visit The California Patient's Guide.

See the Local Hospitals and Health Clinics page for information on local health clinics and hospitals.