In the late 1980’s a team of emergency room nurses, crime laboratory personnel, and prosecutors collaborated to develop a standard procedure in Massachusetts for collecting evidence in sexual assault cases. This group created the Massachusetts Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (MSAECK) and Toxicology (Tox) kit. They later created the nation’s first Pediatric Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (MA PEDI Kit) in 2005.
The MSAECK is a sealed box containing a detailed protocol and all the medical equipment necessary to conduct a thorough forensic medical examination on adult and adolescent sexual assault victims (12 years of age and older). The evidence collected is used by police in making an arrest and by prosecutors in seeking a conviction of the alleged perpetrator. The MA PEDI Kit is to be used when conducting a forensic medical examination on sexual assault victims (11 years of age and younger). The Tox kit is available to be administered to victims suspected of being drugged in conjunction with a sexual assault.
The program is funded by the State Legislature through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s (EOPSS) Office of Grants and Research (OGR).
A multi-disciplinary MSAECK Advisory Committee provides guidance, information and technical assistance to EOPSS in respect to the contents and distribution of the MSAECK, MA PEDI Kit, and Tox kit. The Advisory Committee is co-chaired by the Office of Grants and Research's Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Grant Administrator and the Director, Associate Director and Boston SANE Regional Coordinator of the Department of Public Health’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program.
Payment for Examinations
Under the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), all patients are eligible to have the cost of their forensic examination covered by the state of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Massachusetts Hospital Association developed detailed guidance regarding the billing procedures for a sexual assault forensic examination. This guidance ensures that a victim is not billed for any services provided within the emergency department, unless a patient chooses to use their health insurance for this purpose.
For questions regarding the payment of examinations, please contact the Attorney General's Victim Compensation and Assistance Division at 617-727-2200 ext. 2160.