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Teens, sexual assault and ethical research: how do we include their voice?
  1. Andrea Anastassiou1,
  2. Tamara Shiboleth1,
  3. Rachel J Caswell2,3
  1. 1 Centre for Social Care, Health and Related Research, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
  2. 2 Sexual Health and HIV Medicine, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Sexual Violence Special Interest Group, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rachel J Caswell, Sexual Health and HIV Medicine, University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK; rachelcaswell{at}

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Young people aged 16–19 years are the group reporting the highest prevalence in the last year of sexual assault in the England and Wales survey, with 1 in 10 reporting experience of sexual assault.1 Of note, younger teens were not surveyed. Experiences of sexual assault can result in physical injury, an increased risk of revictimisation, and a range of other deleterious outcomes concerning their (sexual and mental) health as well as emotional and social problems.2 Interventions are essential to alleviate or even prevent these outcomes, and research is important in order to improve this support for teens after sexual assault.

However, there is a marked scarcity of teen participation in studies where the findings could ultimately direct interventions and services following sexual assault. Without research inclusive of teen experiences, services will be offered that have been trialled in adults and as such may miss service issues that affect access to and acceptability of healthcare.3 Teen research participation …

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  • Contributors TS and AA contributed equally to the paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.