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ERIC Number: EJ820324
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Caring for Young Adolescent Sexual Abuse Victims in a Hospital-Based Children's Advocacy Center
Edinburgh, Laurel; Saewyc, Elizabeth; Levitt, Carolyn
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v32 n12 p1119-1126 Dec 2008
Objectives: This study compared health care assessments, referrals, treatment, and outcomes for young adolescent sexual assault/sexual abuse victims seen at a hospital-based Child Advocacy Center (CAC), to that provided to similar victims evaluated by other community providers. A second purpose was to document how common DNA evidence is found among such cases. Method: A retrospective matched case-comparison design matched index CAC cases diagnosed with extra-familial sexual assault to non-CAC cases referred for prosecution in the same county, matched by age and sex of victim, age and sex of perpetrator, and type of assault (N = 128 pairs). Since the case-comparison design produces paired data, analyses used paired t-tests, McNemars test, and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Health care outcomes included whether victims received a health exam, indicated tests, findings of trauma on genital exams and counseling referrals; legal outcomes included whether cases were prosecuted, verdicts, and length of sentences. Results: CAC cases were significantly more likely to receive a physical exam, a genital exam when indicated, and referral for counseling (all p less than 0.001). In the CAC group 26.7% vs. 4.8% had positive genital trauma findings, and only 6.3% of CAC cases failed to get indicated sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests or prophylactic treatment for STIs vs. 80% of the comparisons (p less than 0.001). There were no differences in decisions to prosecute, convictions, or sentence lengths between the groups. DNA was documented in only 27.3% of acute cases, although evidence kits were completed. Conclusions: Young adolescent sexual abuse victims received markedly different health care in a hospital-based CAC compared to elsewhere. DNA is not commonly found in acute cases. Implications for practice: Community health care providers and law enforcement should be encouraged to refer victims to hospital-based CACs for specialized examinations and treatment. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A