January 23, 1978

Sexual Abuse of ChildrenDetection and Management

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr Herjanic), Obstetrics-Gynecology (Dr Wilbois), and Pediatrics (Dr Herjanic), Washington University, St Louis.

JAMA. 1978;239(4):331-333. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280310063021

Detection of sexual abuse in children involves careful history-taking, complete physical examination, and, most importantly, a high index of suspicion. Primary care physicians play an important role, since they are likely to be the first persons consulted.

Complete management includes immediate attention to physical care, prophylactic measures, psychological evaluation and treatment, and collection of medicolegal evidence. For the protection of the child, one person must assume responsibility for coordination of treatment and adequate follow-up.

(JAMA 239:331-333, 1978)