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, and later created the nation’s first Pediatric Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit (MA PEDI Kit) in 2005.
The MSAECK is a sealed box containing 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 EOPSS’ Violence Against Women Act Grant Administrator, and the Director, Associate Director and Boston SANE Regional Coordinator of the Department of Public Health’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program.
Provider Sexual Crime Reporting Forms (PSCR)
Each MSAECK and MA PEDI Kit contains an anonymous sexual assault kit reporting form which, by law (M.G.L. Ch. 112, Sec. 12A 1/2), every medical provider who has treated a victim of a sexual assault must complete and fax to EOPSS and the local police department in which the incident took place. The EOPSS/OGR/Research and Policy Analysis Unit inputs the data from the reporting form and maintains a master database. Information gleaned from the PSCR helps guide discussion for the MSAECK Advisory Committee and public safety officials regarding emerging trends and the nature and characteristics of sexual assault in Massachusetts.
To access the Provider Sexual Crime Reporting Forms for both the Adult/Adolescent and Pediatric Kits, please visit the Research and Policy Analysis Division's webpage.
Payment of 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 to ensure 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. Please see the memorandum below for additional information.
For questions regarding the payment of examinations, please contact the Attorney General's Victim Compensation and Assistance Division at 617-727-2200 ext. 2160.
Each February, annual order forms are distributed via email to emergency departments throughout the Commonwealth that receive and administer sexual assault evidence collection kits. These annual orders include both adult/adolescent MSAECK and Tox kits and are delivered by July 1st. Please note that MA PEDI Kits are not included with the annual orders and are distributed on an as needed basis. If your hospital is in need of MA PEDI Kits, or requires a supplemental order of MSAECK and/or Tox kits prior to its annual request, please contact the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Office of Grants and Research at 617-725-3301.