October 16, 2002
For a number of years, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in collaboration with multiple state and
community partners has been addressing the serious problem of substance-related sexual assaults in Massachusetts.
Since 1998, prevention-oriented materials have been distributed to college campuses, rape crisis centers, and other
interested parties throughout Massachusetts and DPH staff has provided training to diverse audiences through
entities such as the State Police Academy, Jane Doe, Inc.:The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and
Domestic Violence, the School Health Institute, and the Massachusetts Association of College and University Public
In addition, the Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Survivor Services (SAPSS) and Sexual Assault Nurse
Examiner (SANE) Programs have worked closely with the Executive Office of Public Safety and its partners to
develop new protocols for voluntary toxicology testing as an optional component of the Massachusetts Sexual
Assault Evidence Collection Kits. These kits are distributed to participating hospitals by the Executive Office of
Public Safety and are used by medical providers to collect forensic evidence within 5 days of a sexual assault.
Toxicology testing is only conducted with these kits when indicated and consented to, and only within 3 days of an
In recognition that new toxicology testing protocols, new legislation and new drugs have emerged in this area since
1997, I am pleased to present the attached updated information to support continued awareness and prevention of
substance-related sexual assaults in Massachusetts. For more information, please contact the DPH Sexual Assault
Prevention and Survivor Services Program at 617-624-5457 (www.state.ma.us/dph/sapss/sapss.htm) or your local
rape crisis center or SANE Program. Programs throughout the Commonwealth are listed in the materials that follow.
Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH