Child abuse – sexual : Treatment

Treatment

Treatment for the physical signs of sexual abuse is the same as for any types of cuts, bruises, or scrapes. The patient may need medicines to prevent or treat sexually transmitted diseases. Older females may receive medicines to prevent pregnancy.

All children who have been sexually abused or traumatized in any way should receive mental health counseling.

Any suspicion of child sexual abuse must be reported to child protective services and the police. Medical professionals, teachers, and child care professionals are required by law to make a report.

Once a case is reported, child protection agencies and the police must investigate. If the report is considered true, the child must be protected from further abuse. The child may be placed with a non-abusing parent, another relative, or a foster home.

Support Groups

Support groups for abused children, their parents, and caretakers are available and strongly recommended. The following organizations may provide more information:

Child Help USA – www.childhelpusa.org

Prevent Child Abuse America – www.childabuse.org

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network – www.rainn.org

Prognosis (Expectations)

The biggest issue is the child’s mental health. The outcome depends on:

  • Family and social support
  • The child’s personality
  • The length of time the child was abused and the type of abuse
  • Therapy

Complications

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sleep disorders
  • Unsafe sexual activities

Those who have been abused as children have an increased risk of becoming abusers themselves when they reach adulthood.

Calling Your Health Care Provider

If you suspect child abuse in any form, immediately call your health care provider, Child Protective Services, or police.


Review Date : 3/14/2009
Reviewed By : Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only — they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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