All children who are suspected victims of child sexual abuse are entitled to a specialized medical evaluation, called a forensic medical exam.
Because of the unspeakable trauma that children who were sexually abused experienced, evidence must be collected in order to bring their offenders to justice. While the aftermath of such events can be uncomfortable at times and difficult to overcome, there is hope through the CAC.
If a child has endured sexual abuse, a registered nurse, specifically referred to as a Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), delicately guides them through a safe examination that documents the physical, emotional, and behavioral results of child sexual abuse and collects any evidence that may still exist. All examinations are thoroughly and carefully done in a child-friendly environment.
- Diagnoses any medical conditions (e.g. sexually transmitted infections/diseases) that stem from sexual abuse.
- Ensures that the physical and mental health of the child victim is intact.
- Helps the examiner collect evidence from the child’s clothing or body (if reported shortly after the abuse).
- Documents any evidence found.
- Reassures children that nothing is wrong with their bodies.
A medical examination is conducted at our center and takes about 2 hours to complete. A complete medical history is then gathered from a parent or guardian, so please give the name of the child’s primary care provider so that we can coordinate care accordingly.
All exam findings are photographed with the use of a DSLR camera or special instrument known as a colposcope. Images are beneficial to interpreting findings in finer detail and allows our examiner to review the evidence without the child having to go through another examination.
In addition to the physical exam, X-Rays or laboratory tests may be requested to help in the evaluation, and referrals to specialty medical providers and behavioral health therapy can also be scheduled to help the child along in their healing process.
If you ave any questions regarding our forensic medical program, please email SANE Coordinator Cassie O’Neal, RN at Cassie.Oneal@caclowndes.org.