This work was presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Science, February 21–26, 2005, in New Orleans, LA, and the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Science, February 19–24, 2007, in San Antonio, TX.
Medical Findings and Legal Outcomes in Sexually Abused Children*
Article first published online: 2 DEC 2009
© 2009 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 55, Issue 1, pages 104–109, January 2010
How to Cite
Hansen, L. A., Mikkelsen, S. J., Sabroe, S. and Charles, A. V. (2010), Medical Findings and Legal Outcomes in Sexually Abused Children. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 55: 104–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01230.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 2 DEC 2009
- Received 24 Oct. 2008; and in revised form 7 Jan. 2009; accepted 11 Jan. 2009.
- forensic science;
- clinical forensic medicine;
- forensic epidemiology;
- child sexual abuse;
- legal outcome;
- medical findings;
- video colposcope
Abstract: A previous study published in 2000 on a small group of children concluded that the medical examination in cases of sexual child abuse seldom provided legal proof of sexual abuse [J Forensic Sci 45(2000):115–7]. The present consecutive study included children referred to the police for a forensic medical examination. A colposcope was used to evaluate the anogenital findings which were classified as normal, nonspecific, and abnormal. Four hundred and eighty-two children were included. Abnormal anogenital findings were found in 38% of the girls and 20% of the boys, but there was no relation between abnormal anogenital findings and the two legal outcomes: “appearing in court” and “being convicted.” However, the age of the child turned out to be a more important factor in relation to legal outcome than the physical findings. The results of this study suggest that the child’s statement and not the physical findings were important for legal outcome.