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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2008;87(7):707-15. doi: 10.1080/00016340802189847.

Sexual assault centers: attendance rates, and differences between early and late presenting cases.

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1
Sexual Assault Centre, Oslo Emergency Ward, Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Sexual assault centers (SACs) aim at assisting victims and to provide forensic medical examination (FME). This study explores the gap between assaults actually occurring and those seen at SAC; and the characteristics of cases presented in time/too late for FME (early and late cohorts).

DESIGN:

Retrograde descriptive study.

SETTING AND SAMPLE:

A two-year series from a self-referral SAC; characteristics of victims, assaults, use of services.

METHODS:

Chi-quadrate, uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Number of female victims seen/female at-risk population (attendance rates). Case and service profiles in the two cohorts. Adjusted odds for late presentation.

RESULTS:

Attendance rates for females were 0.12% (14-55 years); an estimated 4-7% of sexually assaulted females in the catchment area. Two hundred and seventy eight victims arrived in time for FME, 76 later; 6% males. Assaults in the early cohort were more often performed by strangers. Two hundred and thirty-eight victims underwent FME, 55% complied with follow-up, 55% reported to the police. The late cohort contained more adolescent victims, more acquainted/partner perpetrators, more verbal coercion; 45% medically examined, 80% follow-up compliance; 34% reported to police. Further referrals occurred equally often in both cohorts; 12% to somatic and 39% to psychiatric services. Among victims seen, 5% died within 7 years of consultation.

CONCLUSION:

Cases seen at SAC are strongly selected. The late cohort seems more representative of the commonly occurring assaults; young victims, known assailants. Even late presenters are in need of a multidisciplinary approach.

PMID:
18607821
DOI:
10.1080/00016340802189847
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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