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Addressing Sexual Abuse of Youth in Custody Curriculum: Module 13 - Medical and Mental Health Care

NCJ Number
Date Published
28 pages
This training module on addressing the problem of sexual abuse of youth in custody examines medical and mental health care services for youth in custody.
The primary objectives of this training module on addressing the medical and mental health needs of youth in custody who have been the victim of sexual abuse are to identify common reactions to sexual abuse, identify the medical and mental health services needed by and available for youth, understand mandatory reporting requirements, and understand the public health implications of sexual abuse in youth correctional settings. The module begins with a general discussion of adolescent reactions to trauma and stress. This is followed by a discussion on common adolescent reactions to sexual violence that can be divided into three categories: emotional responses, cognitive responses, and behavioral responses. The discussion highlights the fact that being a survivor of sexual violence/sexual abuse and being in detention can often lead to increased reactions and responses to the trauma. The role that health care providers have in assisting these youth is discussed. Health care providers, being part of the correctional team, can provide immediate medical services to youth, can offer confidentiality and assist with reporting the incidence of sexual violence, and can help the youth deal with the long term health concerns resulting from the sexual trauma. The module also discusses the role of sexual assault response teams which are composed of law enforcement, mental health/rape crisis providers, and medical health providers. Finally, the module presents information on the services provided by rape crisis centers and child advocacy centers, and the pros and cons of partnering with both of these agencies.