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Characterizing Multiple Perpetrator Sexual Assaults in the Adolescent Female Population

      ABSTRACT

      Study Objective

      To determine whether differences exist between the acute presentations and post-assault needs of youth presenting to an emergency department (ED) following multiple perpetrator sexual assault (MPSA) compared with those presenting after single perpetrator sexual assault.

      Methods

      A retrospective cohort study of all female adolescents evaluated in an urban pediatric ED between 2014 and 2021 for acute sexual assault was conducted. Demographic characteristics and assault outcomes were assessed using bivariate analyses.

      Results

      Survivors of MPSA were not more likely than survivors of single perpetrator assaults to be diagnosed with an anal-genital injury or sexually transmitted infection but were more likely to re-present in the subsequent year for an emergent mental health concern (31% vs 11%, P = .001), including suicide attempt (6% vs 1%, P = .022).

      Conclusion

      The high rate of subsequent ED visits for mental health concerns among female adolescent survivors of MPSA highlights the need for providing specialized support to this population.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations:

      MPSA (multiple perpetrator sexual assault), ED (emergency department), SART (Sexual Assault Response Team), REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture), STI (sexually transmitted infection), SD (standard deviation), IQR (interquartile range)
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