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Physicians are increasingly faced with the task of evaluating and reporting possible sexual abuse of children. All suspected sexual abuse cases should begin with a careful history from the child and her parents. The child should be interviewed in a supportive, nonthreatening setting. The medical examination should be thorough and carefully documented for possible use in future prosecution. The physician should have a gentle, unhurried approach to the patient with careful explanations of all procedures in advance. Forensic data should be collected and tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) should be administered. Vulvar/hymenal appearance should be carefully noted for comparison with nonsexually abused children. A multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of the sexually abused child is important and should involve pediatricians, gynecologists, mental health professionals.
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© 1988 Springer-Verlag New York Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.