PHYSICAL EVIDENCE RECOVERY KIT (PERK)
In accordance with Virginia Code § 19.2-11.6, the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) shall accept and store the Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) in cases of sexual assault where the victim elects not to make a report to law enforcement. These are referred to as “Anonymous PERKs.”
Submitting Anonymous PERKs
The instructions described below are to be used for packaging and submitting an Anonymous PERK to DCLS.
1. Evidence collected must be packaged within the PERK box only. Clothing and/or other evidence will not be accepted unless sealed in the PERK box.
2. No liquid biological specimens such as blood or urine will be accepted. Refrigerated storage is not available.
3. The PERK shall be sealed on all four sides with evidence tape or, in the absence of evidence tape, a tape of sufficient strength to maintain a seal. All four sides of the seal shall be initialed by the health care provider such that part of the initials is on the surface of the box and part on the surface of the tape. The integrity of the seal must be able to withstand the rigors of shipping.
4. The health care provider will ensure that the victim receives a written copy of the Anonymous Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) Storage Notification Form with one of the unique PERK identifier number stickers attached. This unique PERK identifier number can be found within the PERK box on a sheet of peel off, self-adhesive stickers. The victim will be advised that this unique number needs to be provided to law enforcement should the victim choose to make a report.
5. Affix one of the unique PERK identifier number stickers onto the outside of the PERK box in the designated space, so that it is clearly visible. The health care provider shall place the fully executed Anonymous Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) Storage Notification Form in a sealed envelope and affix the sealed envelope to the outside of the PERK box.
6. After the procedures stated above are completed, the PERK shall be placed into a sturdy shipping box. The shipping box should be approximately 12” x 10” x 4”. Place one of the unique PERK identifier number stickers to the outside of the shipping box directly beneath the return address. Legibly write the date of collection below the numbered label.
7. Upon completion of step 6, send the box via U.S. Postal Service Certified Mail to DCLS at the following address:
Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services
600 North 5th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Attn: DCLS Evidence Custodian
8. Prepaid shipping labels are provided by the Virginia Victims Fund. To request a prepaid label to ship the PERK by Priority Mail 2-day with Signature Confirmation, email email@example.com and include the following information:
- Return mailing address
- PERK ID Number
- Weight of the complete package (PERK and outer shipping box), if available
- Email address to receive tracking information
- Date the package will be shipped
Requests for labels will be processed Monday through Friday before 10 a.m. Requests received after 10 a.m. will be processed on the following business day. Exceptions include office closings for holidays, inclement weather, or other unforeseeable circumstances.
The prepaid shipping label can be printed on Avery® Internet Shipping Labels (5126 or 8126) or on plain paper and attached to the package with tape. For questions or assistance, please contact the Virginia Victims Fund at 800-552-4007.
9. Please see the Photo Instructions for Mailing Blind PERKs for a visual guide on how to complete steps 1-8 above.
10. For additional health care provider information and instructions, please refer to the Comprehensive PERK Legislation Summary for Health Care Providers.
DCLS will store PERKs only for anonymous sexual assault cases. The PERK will remain in storage for a minimum period of two (2) years from receipt. The victim may request DCLS to hold the PERK in storage for an additional ten (10) years by contacting the DCLS Evidence Custodian at (804) 648-4480 ext. 102 and submitting a written objection to the destruction of the PERK prior to the end of the initial two (2) year holding period. In the event the victim decides to report the assault, the investigating law enforcement agency shall request the evidence by contacting the DCLS Evidence Custodian at (804) 648-4480 ext. 102.
Unless contacted by law enforcement or the victim, DCLS may destroy the PERK after the initial two (2) year storage period or any additional ten (10) year storage period.
If you have additional questions regarding the submission, retention, or destruction of Anonymous PERKs, please contact the DCLS Evidence Custodian at (804) 648-4480 ext. 102.