The information below is meant only as a starting place for pediatric medical home teams to begin addressing sexual abuse. In no way are these resources exhaustive. State and local agencies will have important information for you to consider, as well as the policies and guidance that you find in the sections below. In addition, you can find a child abuse pediatrician in your state with whom you can consult. For more background on using the materials below, go to the Overview.
Framing the Question
- Has child disclosed being sexually abused?
- Has child had stomach pains, headaches, and other somatic complaints that seem to have no source?
- Has child’s behavior changed dramatically, seemingly without cause (eg, difficulty sleeping, avoiding people, performance in school)?
- Are there other signs or symptoms that are concerning for sexual abuse?
Actions to Take
- Ensure that the practice has a protocol in place to respond that is consistent with legal reporting requirements and utilizes appropriate community resources.
- If sexual abuse is suspected, report to the appropriate authorities and ensure child will be in safe location.
- Contact your local child abuse pediatrician if there are further questions or concerns
Tools to Educate
Related AAP Policy
Learn More about CEV