Sexual abuse - children
Treatment for the physical signs of sexual abuse is the same as for any types of cuts, bruises, or scrapes. The patient may need medicines to prevent or treat sexually transmitted diseases. Older females may receive medicines to prevent pregnancy.
All children who have been sexually abused or traumatized in any way should receive mental health counseling.
Any suspicion of child sexual abuse must be reported to child protective services and the police. Medical professionals, teachers, and child care professionals are required by law to make a report.
Once a case is reported, child protection agencies and the police must investigate. If the report is considered true, the child must be protected from further abuse. The child may be placed with a non-abusing parent, another relative, or a foster home.
Support groups for abused children, their parents, and caretakers are available and strongly recommended. The following organizations may provide more information:
Child Help USA -
Prevent Child Abuse America -
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network -
The biggest issue is the child's mental health. The outcome depends on:
Those who have been abused as children have an increased risk of becoming abusers themselves when they reach adulthood.
If you suspect child abuse in any form, immediately call your health care provider, Child Protective Services, or police.
Johnson CF. Abuse and neglect of children. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 36.
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