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  » First Aid  »  Sexual Assault
In recent years, more attention has focused on the problems of rape and sexual abuse. There is now greater awareness of the importance of sensitive treatment of rape victims, not only by medical personnel but also by police officials, the courts, the press, friends, and family members. Although women are by far the most common rape victims, men may also be sexually abused.

  • Reassure the victim that she is safe from further harm from the attacker.
  • Injuries, such as bleeding and fractures, should be treated appropriately, but the woman should not wash or douche until seen by a doctor. Otherwise, evidence of the attack may be lost.
  • Encourage the woman to go to a hospital emergency service as soon as possible. Choose a hospital that offers not only immediate medical and gynecological evaluation but also psychological support, as well as follow-up services in all these areas. If possible, accompany the woman and be willing to offer further assistance and support. At the hospital, she will be checked and treated for any internal as well as external injuries. Vaginal and other specimens will be taken for evidence. Follow-up will include tests for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Pregnancy prevention may be offered and the woman encouraged to report the attack to the police.
  • If the victim is a child, prompt medical evaluation is essential. The youngster also may need extra counseling by an expert in dealing with child abuse, especially if the attack was committed by a family member or friend.