Background We are an urban sexual assault referral centre (SARC) also covering a large rural area. We see men and women over the age of 13 who have been sexually assaulted in the last 7 days. In 2011 we saw 53 attendences from adolescents between 13 and 15 years (13% of all SARC attendences).
Aims (1) To review the profile of young victims of rape and sexual assault. (2) Retrospectively review the sexual and emotional health follow-up received by this client group post sexual assault. Method 2 data sets were reviewed. The SARC database were used to identify all clients attending in 2011 aged between 13 and 15 and to collect information including demographics/details of the assault/particular vulnerabilities including alcohol use and whether looked after and accommodated (LAAC) or known to social work. The National Sexual Health electronic patient record (NASH) was then used to review whether these clients attended for any sexual/emotional health follow from their local sexual health services to which they are routinely referred post assault. (A few clients requested referral to their GP.)
Results 32/53 (60%)of clients had been drinking alcohol prior to the assault. 14/53 (26%) of clients were LAAC and a further 12/53 (23%) were known to social work. 5/53 clients had previously attended the SARC and were attending after a second sexual assault and all five clients were LAAC. 36/53 (67%) had specialist sexual health input post assault with five clients due to attend in the next few weeks. Four clients were referred to their GP. Eight clients failed to attend any follow-up and social work were informed.
Conclusion A significant proportion of young adolescents attending our SARC have one or more markers for vulnerability. Health services need to be aware of the increased risk of sexual violence for these clients. Successful follow-up is possible with close liaison between health and social care workers.
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