Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Guidelines for Collecting Evidence of Sexual Assault of Children Should Be Changed, Say Researchers

Date:
July 5, 2000
Source:
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia
Summary:
Recommendations for collecting forensic evidence of sexual abuse in young children should be adapted to reflect actual patterns of abuse, say experts at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. More appropriate guidelines could benefit the child victims, while being more likely to yield evidence of the assault, suggest the researchers.

Philadelphia, Pa. -- Recommendations for collecting forensic evidence of sexual abuse in young children should be adapted to reflect actual patterns of abuse in children, according to child abuse experts at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. More appropriate guidelines could benefit the child victims, while being more likely to yield evidence of the assault, suggest the researchers in the July issue of Pediatrics.

Related Articles


The researchers analyzed the medical records and police crime lab reports on 273 children under age 10 who came to emergency departments at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and two other Philadelphia hospitals between 1991 and 1996.

They found that swabbing the child's body for evidence of semen and sperm was done 95 percent of the time, but yielded no positive results more than 13 hours after an assault. "Because such swabbing is uncomfortable for recently traumatized children, and yields negligible results if not done quickly after an assault, we propose swabbing the body should not be done more than 24 hours after the assault," says Cindy W. Christian, M.D., medical director of Child Abuse Services at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of the study.

"On the other hand, there were much higher yields of forensic evidence on the child's clothing and household linens, and we suggest that these items should be aggressively pursued for examination." The majority of forensic evidence (sperm, semen or blood) detected was found on clothing and linens, even though only a third of the children had clothing collected as part of the evaluation.

The study was the first one to examine forensic evidence data in children below the age of puberty who suffered sexual assaults. "Many of the current guidelines for evaluating children closely follow recommendations for evaluating adult rape victims," says Dr. Christian. "However, child sexual abuse is different from adult rape. Our findings suggest that guidelines for medical evaluation and evidence collection should be adapted for young children."

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the nation's first children's hospital, is a leader in patient care, education and research. This 373-bed multispecialty hospital provides comprehensive pediatric services, including home care, to children from before birth through age 19. The hospital is second in the United States among all children's hospitals in total research funding from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. "Guidelines for Collecting Evidence of Sexual Assault of Children Should Be Changed, Say Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 July 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000630142153.htm>.
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. (2000, July 5). Guidelines for Collecting Evidence of Sexual Assault of Children Should Be Changed, Say Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000630142153.htm
The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia. "Guidelines for Collecting Evidence of Sexual Assault of Children Should Be Changed, Say Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000630142153.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins