WHO launches guidelines on responding to children and adolescents who have been sexually abused

LVCT Health is proud to have participated in the development of the recently released RESPONDING TO CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS WHO HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED WHO CLINICAL GUIDELINES . Our experiences in programming and research on Violence against children informed part of the recommendations.


Sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape, of children and adolescents is a major global public health problem, a violation of human rights, and has many health consequences in the short and long term. The physical, sexual, reproductive health and mental health consequences of such abuse are wide ranging and need to be addressed.


Data from several settings show that children and adolescents are disproportionately represented among the cases of sexual abuse that are brought to the attention of health-care providers. This guideline provides recommendations aimed primarily at front-line health-care providers (e.g. general practitioners, nurses, paediatricians, gynaecologists) providing care to children, including adolescents up to the age of 18 years, who have, or may have, experienced sexual abuse, including sexual assault or rape.


This guideline aims to provide evidence-based recommendations for quality clinical care for children and adolescents who have, or may have, been subjected to sexual abuse, in order to mitigate the negative health consequences and improve their well-being. The objectives are to support health-care providers to provide quality, immediate and long-term clinical care and to apply ethical, human-rights-based and trauma-informed good practices in the provision of such care.




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