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National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations - Pediatric

NCJ Number
Kristin Littel
Date Published
April 2016
233 pages
This National Protocol for Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examinations - Pediatric is intended to be a guide for health care providers who conduct sexual abuse medical forensic examinations of prepubescent children, as well as other professionals and agencies/facilities involved in an initial community response to child sexual abuse.
The protocol views pediatric medical forensic examinations for sexual abuse as having the following four objectives: 1) to address the health care needs of prepubescent children who disclose sexual abuse or for whom sexual abuse is suspected; 2) to promote their healing; 3) to collect forensic evidence for potential use within the criminal justice and/or child protection systems; and 4) to address concerns about children's safety and offer emotional support, crisis intervention, education, and advocacy to children and their caregivers as needed. Coordination across disciplines and agencies/facilities in a community and across jurisdictions is crucial in addressing these protocol objectives. The protocol is divided into two major sections, one addressing the foundation for response during the exam process and the other detailing aspects of the exam process. The first section consists of subsections on principles of care, adapting care for each child, a coordinated team approach, the health care infrastructure, and the infrastructure for justice system response during the exam process. The second major section of the protocol addresses procedures for the consent for care, the initial response, entry into the health care system, written documentation, medical history, photo-documentation, the examination, evidence collection, sexual abuse facilitated by alcohol and drugs, and sexually transmitted disease evaluation and care. Approximately 250 references and 10 appendixes with supplementary information