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Medical Forensic Exam
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What is a Sexual Abuse Medical Forensic Examination?

A sexual abuse medical forensic examination for the prepubescent child, is a medically focused examination, performed by a specialized pediatric sexual abuse healthcare provider, in a trauma informed and child centered manner, when there are concerns for, or a disclosure of child sexual abuse.


The medical forensic examination of a child is designed to address the child’s health care needs and promote their safety and healing. It includes obtaining a medical history from the child and non-offending caregiver, an examination, documentation of exam findings and collection of forensic evidence (if within jurisdictional time frame). The medical forensic examination addresses the need for sexually transmitted disease testing including Human Immunodeficiency Virus and initiating post exposure prophylaxis as needed, providing the child and caregiver with resources for follow up physical and emotional care, and completing mandated reporting requirements per jurisdictional law. The medical forensic examination is one component of the multidisciplinary response needed to address all the unique health and safety needs of the child who has experienced sexual abuse.

Portions of this adapted from the: A National Protocol for Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examinations Adults/Adolescents, Second Edition. U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. April 2013. NCJ 241903


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