Sexual abuse

  • Iztok Takač
  • Darjan Kos
  • Darja Arko


Background: Due to its complexity, sexual abuse is a significant public health problem. Treatment of victims of sexual abuse is a complex process that demands an experienced physician and is supported by the guidelines of various organizations in this field. Difficulties in the management of victims of sexual abuse come from the fact that the role of the doctor is not only in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the consequences of sexual abuse, but also the collection of possible evidence for forensic investigation. Content: The person that first meets with the victim of sexual abuse must be in the first place aware of any life-threatening conditionst. When the victim’s vital status is stable, we have to protect all potential clues on the victim and on the crime scene. It is important to emphasize the 72-hour period within which emergency contraception and sampling of the potential biological traces are more effective. An interview with the victim should not be repeated too often as it brings painful memories to the victim and has to be precise. It is important, for the doctor to diagnose and treat sexually transmitted diseases, apply emergency contraception and refer the victim to a psychiatrist. Conclusions: Effective and efficient treatment of victims of sexual abuse requires a systematic approach to the patient, starting with a thorough history, and continuing with a clinical investigation, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the consequences of sexual abuse. The complete management must include sampling of any potential biological traces from the body of the victim. The key to success is a coordinated cooperation with investigators and forensics.


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How to Cite
Takač I, Kos D, Arko D. Sexual abuse. ZdravVestn [Internet]. 1Nov.2012 [cited 27Jan.2020];81(11). Available from:

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