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Arch Kriminol. 2010 Jan-Feb;225(1-2):18-27.

[Analysis of clinical forensic examination reports on sexually abused children].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Aus dem Institut für Rechtsmedizin der Medizinischen Hochschule Hannover.


Clinical forensic examinations of children suspected of having been sexually abused are increasingly part of the routine of medicolegal institutes. The findings collected from 2005 until 2007 at the Institute of Legal Medicine of the Hanover Medical School were analysed retrospectively. Altogether, 91 children (74 females, 17 males, mean age 8.7 years) were examined. In 87.9% of the cases, the examination had been ordered by the police. In 73.6%, the victim knew the suspected perpetrator well or he was a family member. 40.7% of the children were seen within 72 hours after the alleged abuse. 12.1% of the children had extragenital lesions. In 27% of the victims, marked anogenital injuries were found, which were characteristic of sexual abuse in 9%. In 18 cases (20.2%), swabs were taken for spermatozoa detection. 3 of 17 vaginal smears showed positive test results for sperm up to 21 hours after the incident. No spermatozoa could be detected in 4 anal and 2 oral swabs as well as in one swab taken from the skin of the victim's thigh. In summary, the evaluation shows that early clinical forensic examination of children suspected of having been sexually abused is crucial to document evidence that is highly significant for the investigation and court proceedings. Often suspected sexual child abuse cannot be proved by medical findings alone. Of course, the absence of anogenital injuries does nor rule out sexual abuse.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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