Analysis of 1,076 cases of sexual assault

MetroHealth Medical Center Department of Emergency Medicine, Cleveland, OH, USA.
Annals of Emergency Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.68). 05/2000; 35(4):358-62. DOI: 10.1016/S0196-0644(00)70054-0
Source: PubMed


Rates of sexual assault are increasing, and evidence exists that its demographics and characteristics are changing. The purpose of our study was to describe victim, assailant, assault, and treatment characteristics for sexual assault victims and to provide descriptive data on the evidentiary examination.
Prospective data were collected on all sexual assault victims presenting to an urban Level I trauma center from January 1992 to December 1995 for treatment and evidentiary examination. Data from crime laboratory records were retrospectively reviewed.
One thousand one hundred twelve patients presented after a sexual assault. A total of 1,076 (97%) patients consented to the medical and evidentiary examination and were enrolled in the study. Age ranged from 1 to 85 years (mean, 25 years; median, 23 years), with 96% (1,036/1,076) female and 4% (41/1,076) male victims. The number of assailants was greater than 1 in 20% (208/1,044) of cases, and the assailant was a stranger only 39% (409/1,094) of the time. Force was used in 80% (817/1,027) of reported assaults, and in 27% (275/1,014) of cases a weapon was present. Vaginal intercourse was involved in 83% (851/1,023) of female victims. Oral assault was involved in 25% (271/1,053) of all cases, and anal penetration was involved in 17% (178/1,058) of all cases. Overall, general body trauma was seen 67% (621/927) of the time, and genital trauma occurred in 53% (388/736) of cases. Twenty percent (147/1,712) of patients had no trauma noted on examination. Sperm were noted on the emergency department wet mount in only 13% (93/716) of the victims, and of the 612 cases with both ED sperm data and crime laboratory semen data available, evidence of sperm and semen were found 48% (296/612) of the time by either.
Health care professionals should be aware that general body trauma is common, that the assailant is often someone known to the victim, and that evidence of semen is commonly found by the crime laboratory even when it is not found in the ED analysis of a wet mount.

1 Follower
31 Reads
  • Source
    • "This percentage is lower than findings from prior studies (Riggs, Houry, Long, Markovchick, & Feldhaus, 2000). This may be explained by the relatively small number of stranger assault in the present study, which has been found to be associated with physical injury (Riggs et al., 2000). Several explanations may be applicable for the finding that genital injury was observed in only 6% of the sample, while 94% reported penetration. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Prior research endorsed the establishment of sexual assault centres in the Netherlands because of the potential benefit for victims’ mental recovery. In 2012, the first Dutch sexual assault centre was founded at the University Medical Center Utrecht. The aim of the centre is to provide 24/7 coordinated and integrated services (i.e., medical, forensic, and psychological) in one location. Objective The purpose of the present study was to describe demographic, background, and assault characteristics of victims seen at the centre within one week post-assault, and their use of post-assault services in order to improve current services. Method From January 2012 to September 2013, prospective data of 108 patients were collected. To describe the population included, frequency counts and proportions were generated for categorical variables. Results The mean age was 21.3 years (SD=9.8). Most victims were female (91.7%). A large proportion of victims reported background characteristics known to increase the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and revictimisation such as prior sexual abuse (32.4%), pre-existing use of mental health services (45.4%), and not living with both biological parents (61.7%). Most patients (88.9%) consulted the centre within 72 hours post-assault. The uptake of services was high: 82.4% received emergency medical care, 61.7% underwent a forensic–medical exam, 34% reported to the police, and 82.4% utilised psychological services. Conclusion To prevent revictimisation and PTSD, current psychological services could be improved with immediate trauma-focused treatments. Current forensic services may be improved with the use of standard top to toe forensic–medical examinations for both children and adults.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · European Journal of Psychotraumatology
    • "On the whole, most survivors were assaulted by people who were well known to them. This is similar to the findings of several other workers.9,18,19,20,21 Women should, therefore, be advised to avoid vulnerable positions such as being alone with males of questionable intent, or paying unguarded visits to any males no matter their relationship. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Sexual assault (SA) is a shattering malevolence against women. This study determined the burden, periodicity, presentation and management of SA in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Retrospective analysis of the hospital records of 76 SA survivors managed over a 5-year period (2007-2011) in Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife. Results: Sexual assault accounted for 0.69% of all female and 5.2% of all gynaecological emergencies in OAUTHC, Ile-Ife. The survivors’ ages ranged from 4 to 50 years (mean = 17.7 ± 8.8years) and adolescents made up for 48%. The peak prevalence of SA was in February and December and among adults and under-16-year-old survivors, respectively. Daytime and weekday SA were significantly more common among the under-16-year-old survivors (P = 0.008). Majority of the survivors (62%) knew their assailant(s). Neighbours were the commonest perpetrators identified (28.2%) and the assailants’ house was the commonest location (39.4%). Weapons were involved in 29.6% of cases and various injuries were identified in 28.2% of the survivors. Hospital presentation was within 24 hours in majority (76.1%) of the survivors, but rape kit examinations were not performed as the kits were not available. Although appropriate medical management was routinely commenced, only 12.7% of survivors returned for follow-up. Conclusions: Seasonal and diurnal patterns exist in the prevalence of SA in Ile-Ife and most survivors that reported in the hospital presented early. Rape kit examinations were, however, not executed, due to non-availability. Personnel training, protocol development, provision of rape kits and free treatment of SA survivors are, therefore, recommended. Public enlightenment on preventive strategies based on the observed periodicity and age patterns is also suggested.
    No preview · Article · May 2014 · Journal of the Nigeria Medical Association
  • Source
    • "Physical injury following the sexual assault was more commonly noted in 1991 than in 1974. Riggs recently reported very similar rates of force (80%) and physical trauma (67%) at our institution (Riggs et al., 2000). Although these findings could be due to increased awareness and improved documentation , data on physical trauma were collected prospectively on standardized sexual assault evaluation forms by the treating physician and were based on objective physical examination findings. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Women who seek medical care following sexual assault are usually evaluated and treated in an emergency department (ED). Therefore, EDs can be an important source of sexual assault surveillance data. The authors compared the incidence of sexual assault presenting for emergency care in a single county during July to November of 1974 and 1991. Participants included all female sexual assault victims aged 14 and older who presented for ED evaluation. Treating physicians prospectively collected data using standardized forms. The z statistic was used to compare sexual assault incidence. There was a 60% increase in the incidence of sexual assault victims presenting for emergency care in 1991 compared to 1974, primarily due to an increase in the incidence of women presenting to the ED after rapes by known assailants. In contrast, the annual incidence of reported stranger assaults was similar in the two study years.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Show more