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Forensic medical examinations: The body as gateway to healing after child sexual abuse

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dc.contributor.author O'Keeffe, N., & McElvaney, R.
dc.date.accessioned 2022-05-11T18:21:20Z
dc.date.available 2022-05-11T18:21:20Z
dc.date.issued 2022
dc.identifier.citation O'Keeffe, N., & McElvaney, R. (2022). Forensic medical examinations: The body as gateway to healing after child sexual abuse. Child Abuse Review, e2750. en_US
dc.identifier.uri https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/car.2750
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11212/5413
dc.description.abstract Despite consensus that the forensic medical examination is an integral component to a comprehensive response to child sexual abuse (CSA), concerns have been expressed about the impact of these examinations on children and young people. A small-scale survey was conducted with a group of CSA professionals (n = 19), followed by semi-structured interviews with six adolescents, accessed through CSA specialist units in Ireland. While concerns were expressed about the examination, overall, professionals were in favour of it as part of a holistic therapeutic response to CSA. Five themes were identified from the interviews with adolescents: the experience of the examination as an imposition, the unknown nature of the examination, the focus on the body itself, feeling exposed and having a say. Findings highlight how a trauma-informed approach, with emphasis on information sharing and supporting the autonomy of the young person’s voice and choice throughout the process, could provide a transformative experience for young people, helping them integrate their psychological and physical sense of themselves. The forensic medical examination can facilitate the healing and recovery process by bringing into awareness many of the anxieties that, due to shame or inability to tolerate associated emotional pain, remain unspoken and unspeakable following CSA. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Child Abuse Review en_US
dc.subject child sexual abuse en_US
dc.subject qualitative research en_US
dc.subject adolescents en_US
dc.subject forensic medical examination en_US
dc.subject International Resources en_US
dc.subject Ireland en_US
dc.title Forensic medical examinations: The body as gateway to healing after child sexual abuse en_US
dc.type Article en_US


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