What kind of medical examination will my child need if he/she was sexually abused?

There are two types of medical exams given to children who are victims of sexual abuse.

A non-acute forensic medical exam is similar to a regular well-child visit your child has with their pediatrician, assessing the child from head-to-toe. The exam’s purpose is to assess and identify injuries and allow parents and children to discuss any concerns they may have with the specialist. The medical provider(s) are experts with advanced training in identifying possible findings related to child maltreatment.

A non-acute forensic examination also includes a genital exam, which will differ for boys and girls and their sexual maturity. The medical provider will speak with you and your child in more detail about the type of genital examination that may be performed and its purpose.

Lab work and radiology tests may also be done.

An acute forensic medical exam is the same as a non-acute forensic exam, except it is recommended for children who have been sexually abused or assaulted within the past 120 hours (5 days) and is performed in a hospital’s emergency room. It may involve the collection of evidence.

Most of the local hospitals in Chester County will not examine children suspected of sexual abuse who have not reached puberty. The CAC is located near two children’s hospitals with nationally recognized doctors who specialize in child abuse.

  • Nemours/AI DuPont Hospital for Children: 1600 Rockland Rd., Wilmington, DE; 302-651-4000
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: 3401 Civic Center Blvd., Philadelphia, PA; 215-590-1000

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1. What is the Children’s Advocacy Center?
2. What is child abuse?
3. Who is a mandated reporter and what is their responsibility?
4. What should I do if a student tells me they are being abused?
5. What is Childline?
6. What is CYF?
7. What is the Crime Victims’ Center (CVC)?
8. What is a forensic interviewer?
9. How is a forensic interview conducted?
10. What is the multidisciplinary team (MDT)?
11. Will my child see their abuser at the Justice Center or in the CAC?
12. What if my child needs mental health help?
13. If my child was abused, how soon should he/she see a doctor?
14. What kind of medical examination will my child need if he/she was sexually abused?
15. How will the criminal justice system handle my child’s abuser?