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The PRESERVEkit provides a self-administered, sexual assault evidence collection kit for survivors who do not have a sexual assault forensic exam.

The kit includes forensic tools and step-by-step instructions for survivors to collect evidence on their own terms.

Preserving the evidence empowers survivors with the option to come forward with evidence of the crime in a month, a year, a decade, or longer.



 

Spanish + 100 languages

 
 
 

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2019

 
 

n. PRESERVEkit™

a self-administered
sexual assault evidence collection kit.

 

WAIT to shower


WAIT to brush your teeth

 
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TESTIMONIALS

"I wish the PRESERVEkit™ was around years ago.

Countless college clubs and advocacy programs educate and spread awareness about the rape kit. They stress the urgency of going to a hospital or clinic as soon as possible after unwanted sexual intercourse of any kind occurs. The logical and rational parts of my brain get it. It makes sense; having a series of tests done to collect evidence for a crime and possible conviction of the perpetrator.

If I had the PRESERVEkit™ available to me, I could have kept more options open for me for the future. I could have lessened the pressure on myself I felt to act immediately and permanently. The PRESERVEkit™ can help preserve choices."

— SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVOR,
NAME WITHHELD
 

"Physical evidence ensures the strongest possibility of conviction.

If you absolutely cannot have a law enforcement or medical professional help you, this product (PRESERVEkit™) will provide an excellent alternative so that crucial physical evidence isn't lost, and your rights are protected."

— STANLEY A. RAGEN,
FORMER SUPERVISORY SPECIAL AGENT, FBI

"Having worked with many survivors of sxual assault,

I believe the PRESERVEkit™ is an outstanding option for the collection of evidence if the survivor does not want to have a forensic sexual assault exam. This is another option for the victim. I often see victims come to an emergency room that state they have been sexually assaulted but often do not wish to participate in any forensic examine and only want treatment. The PRESERVEkit™ gives the victim another option. “

— Diana Faugno MSN, RN, CPN, SANE-A, SANE-P, FAAFS, DF-IAFN, DF-AFN
Master of Science in Nursing
Certified Pediatric Nurse
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Adolescent/Adult
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Pediatrics
Fellow American Academy of Forensic Science
Distinguished Fellow- International Association of Forensic Nurses
Distinguished Fellow- Academy of Forensic Nursing
Forensic Nurse
Forensic Nurse Consultant
Board Director/Treasurer EVAW International
President Academy of Forensic Nursing





 

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Seeking help is a sign of strength.

The moving words above and on other parts of this page are affirmations provided with permission by a survivor, Heather.

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What is PRESERVEkit™?

Sometimes, survivors who don’t report the crime lose potential evidence within hours or days. The PRESERVEkit™ is a self-administered tool for survivors to collect evidence for use at a later date within the judicial system.

PRESERVEkit™ was developed by Retired FBI Special Agent Jane Mason who is a specialist in evidence collection. She was a team leader on the elite FBI Evidence Response Team (ERT) in the New York Office and collected evidence on matters of international, national and local importance. 

Now, her Private Investigations practice brings her in touch with survivors of sexual assault who are asking for help. Many of the survivors Jane met had been unable to report the crime and therefore the physical evidence was not preserved. After conducting some research, Jane was shocked to learn there is no publicly available guidance geared toward survivors to help them properly collect their own evidence.

Inspired by knowledge of evidence collection and compassion for survivors, she formed The Preserve Group to help make PRESERVEkit™ available to all survivors of sexual assault.  

On this site and in the instructions of the PRESERVEkit™ we offer guidance and tools to survivors of sexual assault for the collection of evidence in the immediate aftermath of the crime if going to the police or hospital is not an option.

 
Jane Mason Retired FBI Special Agent

Jane Mason
Retired FBI Special Agent

 
 

 

 
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Willingness is a revolving door process.
Keep trying, keep going. Never give up.

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What do I do now?

  • Make sure you are in a safe place. 

  • Wait to shower. 

  • Wait to brush your teeth.

  • Wait to change your clothes.


If you need confidential support or information on available resources in your area, you can contact one of the many organizations that assist survivors.  See Resources for survivors for more information.


Option 1

  • Proceed to a medical facility and report the assault to the police.  

  • Read here for more information on what to expect during a police investigation.

Option 2 

  • If you have decided not to proceed to a medical facility and report the assault to law enforcement, collect your own evidence with the PRESERVEkit™.  

  • Many cases are not prosecuted because of a lack of evidence.   

  • To preserve the strongest evidence, collect it as soon after the assault as possible before you shower, brush your teeth and change your clothes.

 
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Arm yourself.

In addition to collecting evidence, you can conduct your own investigation. By doing this unobtrusive investigatory work yourself, you will have a complete packet of evidence to provide to authorities if you decide to move forward in the judicial system.  

1. Detailed narrative.

Type a detailed narrative of the events surrounding the assault in as much detail as possible. Once you have completed the narrative, send it in an email to yourself then print it or save it electronically. This will place an immutable time and date stamp on your story if the details are ever questioned in the future. 

Information to include:

 

BEFORE the assault

  • All prior introductions or interactions with the perpetrator.

  • Had anyone spoken of the perpetrator prior to the day of the assault, for example, what did you know about the perpetrator prior to that day, what were the plans for the evening, did the plans for the evening include that person, etc.

  • Detailed list of activities on the day of the assault. Detailed lists should include approximate times, people involved, locations, and every possible bit of information. The more detail the better in the long run.  

AFTER the assault

Detail an account of everything that happened after the assault.

  • Where did you go first?  

  • Who did you tell first? 

  • Did anyone know what happened? 

  • Did anyone ever discuss the incident afterwards?  In person, on the phone, or on social media?

  • Did you go to a medical facility? 

  • What did you say to the medical personnel to get a rape kit? 

  • What did the medical staff say to you in terms of filing a police report? 

  • Did medical personnel make any comment about the hospital’s requirement to notify the police?

  • The medical staff could be extremely important witnesses because they will corroborate all of the information about your visit to the medical facility.

DURING the assault

By writing down the details of the actual assault, you are memorializing the information as you best remember. If you come forward  with a case in the future, you will appreciate having documented these details shortly after the assault.

As investigations continue, additional details are often recalled. This is typical but it will be very helpful for you to try to remember as many details sooner than later. If something of significance is remembered later, it can be a distraction from the main case because questions may be raised about inconsistency. 

 

Important considerations:

  • Answer the Who, What, When, Where, and How questions.

  • Consent, or lack thereof, is key in sexual assault cases. Consent factors include turning away, saying no, pushing the perpetrator away or other similar actions that indicate lack of consent.  

  • It is also important to note if you were incapacitated in any way by drugs or alcohol and to describe the use of force.

 

2.
Medical Records.

Get all of your medical records from the medical facility. 

3.
Social media from relevant time-frame.

If a case is going to be based almost entirely on witness testimony and electronic data, you can help by locating and printing the social media from the relevant time-frame.

The significant time-frame for review begins at the time of the first pertinent mention of the perpetrator on any social media. 

A reference could be something as small as a post from the perpetrator or a friend you confided in asking you how you are doing. 

4.
Computer history.

All of your computer activity from the incident and the next day(s) is vital. 

Corroborating information in your computer history could include Google searches you made about rape kits, sexual assaults, etc., and other contextual searches or research you conducted at or near the time of the assault. 

Print out the history and details of the sites you visited.

5. List of potential witnesses.
Include names and contact information.

Anyone who saw you in the time leading up to the assault.

Anyone who may have seen or heard the assault.

All people you told about the assault. Did you tell them in person, on the phone, in writing?

Anyone who confronted the perpetrator about the assault? What did the perpetrator say about the assault? 

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Be brave. Be strong. Believe. It was not my fault. I will be ok. I am valuable. I am not alone. I am worthy. My body is precious. I can take control of my life. Seeking help is a sign of strength. I ask for and receive healing today. I reclaim my power. I am a survivor. I can take action to stay safe. My boundaries deserve respect. I will show myself compassion.

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What if I report the crime?

If you report the crime to law enforcement, the following are some typical steps, although not an exhaustive list, taken during investigations of sexual assault crimes.  


Investigative Steps

Survivor Interview

  • Law enforcement will conduct a detailed interview of the survivor of the sexual assault.

  • This could involve follow-up interviews for additional details.  You will be an integral part of the prosecution team at this point.  You should expect to be treated with respect and dignity during this entire process. 

Perpetrator Interview

  • Law enforcement will interview the perpetrator during the course of their investigation.

Witness Interviews

  • Law enforcement will seek and interview every witness with corroborating information to build their case.  This will include anyone who was with you before, during, and after the assault as well as medical personnel.

Forensic Evidence

  • Any medical corroboration.  This would include a rape kit and all records from the medical facility.  This could also include an expert medical witness who would be able to describe a survivor’s typical reaction after an assault.  

  • All DNA, latent fingerprint, and physical evidence.  Law enforcement will collect and analyze any clothing, bedding, condoms, restraints, and any other items that came in contact with the perpetrator to connect the perpetrator to the crime scene.

  • Phones, laptops, and other electronic devices used during the time-frame of the incident.

General Evidence

  •   Phone records, email, social media.

  •   Any photographs, videos, or any other type of documentation.

From the medical facility

  •  All documents related to procedures for victims of sexual assault.

  •  All reporting requirements related to victims of sexual assault.

  •  All medical records.

If a school/college/university is a part of the investigation

  • Student disciplinary records of perpetrator.

  • Security information. 

  • CCTV from the school. This is generally not kept for long periods of time, but a request should be made anyway.

  • Civil Rights Procedures under Title IX.


Forensic evidence combined with witness testimony, pertinent records, and digital files create the prosecution’s case.  

In the criminal legal system in the United States, the perpetrator is considered innocent until proven guilty. There are two ways for guilt to be determined:

  • A guilty plea is entered in court. This means that the perpetrator attends a court hearing and admits his guilt to a judge.

  • A guilty verdict is pronounced at the end of a trial. This means that the prosecutor has presented the case in court and has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the perpetrator committed the crime.

 
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Resources for survivors 

The following list was adapted from numerous sources to provide some of the resources available to survivors of sexual assault.  The list references some of the many tools currently available publicly and is provided for information purposes only. 


RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network),  www.rainn.org

RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline via telephone at 800-656-HOPE (4673) and online at online.rainn.org  

National Sexual Violence Resource Center, www.nsvrc.org, offers information and tools to survivors.

Male Survivor, www.malesurvivor.org, provides resources and support to male survivors of all forms of sexual abuse. 

Let’s Talk About It!, https://forge-forward.org/wp-content/docs/Lets-Talk-Therapist-Guide.pdf, a document named Let’s Talk About It! A Transgender Survivor’s Guide to Accessing Therapy.

Military Hotline, www.safehelpline.org, 877-995-5247, offers sexual assault support for the DOD community.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-8255 


Other information 

Raliance, www.raliance.org, is dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation. 

Anti-Violence Project, https://avp.org/get-help/, provides services to LGBTQ survivors of all forms of violence. 

End Rape On Campus, endrapeoncampus.org  

End Violence Against Women International, https://evawintl.org/ 


Disclaimer: This section refers to and contains links to numerous websites. The opinions expressed in these websites do not necessarily reflect the views, positions or policies of The Preserve Group. The Preserve Group does not endorse any private organization listed herein.

 
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Our mission . . .

is to empower survivors.

Sometimes, survivors who don’t report the crime, lose all potential evidence within a matter of hours or days. The PRESERVEkit™ helps those survivors collect evidence for use at a later date for potential use within the judicial system.
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Our goal . . .

is to be the leading provider of self-administered sexual assault evidence collection kits.

We offer guidance and tools to survivors of sexual assault for the collection of evidence in the immediate aftermath of the crime if going to the police or hospital is not an option.

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Our hope . . .

is to empower survivors who aren’t emotionally able to report the crime to law enforcement.

Learn more.

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Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.

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