Preserving Evidence

Tips for Preserving Evidence

It is important for an individual who has experienced sexual misconduct to get to a safe space and seek support. In addition to getting to a safe space, the university encourages individuals to preserve all evidence to assist the individual with their options of reporting. The following are tips for preserving evidence:

General Tips

Do not alter, dispose of or destroy any physical evidence.

  • If there is suspicion that a drink may have been drugged, inform a medical assistance provider and/or law enforcement as soon as possible so they can attempt to collect potential evidence (e.g., from the drink, through urine or blood sample).
  • Preserve evidence of electronic communications by saving them and/or by taking screenshots of text messages, instant messages, social networking pages or other electronic communications, and by keeping pictures, logs or copies of documents that relate to the incident and/or respondent.
  • Even if complainants choose not to make a complaint regarding sexual misconduct, they should nevertheless consider speaking with Case Western Reserve University Police or other law enforcement to preserve evidence in the event that they change their mind at a later date.

Specific to Sexual Assault

  • Do not change out of the clothing you were wearing at the time of your assault. If you must change, place your old clothes in a paper bag and do not wash it.
  • Pack a change of clothes to bring to University Health Service or local hospital.
  • Do not shower, bathe, brush teeth, eat, drink or change bedding before going to the hospital or seeking medical attention.