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Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Nov;84(5):867-71.

Epidemiology of adolescent sexual assault.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants' Hospital, Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island.



To describe the epidemiology of sexual assault in adolescents and to compare this group with sexual assault victims over 20 years of age.


Charts were reviewed of 405 women presenting for sexual assault evaluation between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1993, and demographic, historical, and laboratory data were extracted.


The median age of the study population was 21 years. Adolescent victims (less than 20 years old, N = 178) were more likely to be assaulted by an acquaintance or relative (77 versus 56%; P < .0001) and to delay medical evaluation (11 versus 7 hours; P < .02) than were women 20 years of age and older (N = 227).


The epidemiology of sexual assault in adolescents is unique and poses special challenges to the health care provider and the sexual assault evaluation team. Clinicians evaluating adolescents should be familiar with the epidemiology of sexual assault in this age group and the widespread problem of acquaintance rape. Adolescents should be offered preventive strategies to help them avoid future violence in dating relationships and the sequelae of sexual assault, such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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