Forensic issues in the assessment of sexually assaulted adolescents
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This article provides a general overview of the principles of conducting a forensic evaluation of adolescents who have been exposed to sexual abuse. This problem is common and is associated with a large burden of suffering. There is a strong likelihood that most paediatricians will be called on to perform such evaluations at some point in time. This overview includes a description of the forensic examination, focuses on such issues as consent and contact with child protection services, and provides specific guidelines about interviewing the adolescent. Familiarity with how to conduct a forensic evaluation will hopefully improve the availability of this service for adolescents. Contact with the legal profession can be stressful. At the same time, paediatricians are in a unique position to advocate on behalf of their adolescent patients.
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