The care of the prepubescent child following sexual abuse is significantly different than that of the adolescent or adult, and requires that the provider have specialized skill and education to competently respond to the child’s unique health, safety and legal needs.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center offers general information on the sexual abuse of children, including types of abuse, caring children and statistical data.
The patient population that is addressed in the Pediatric SAFE Protocol is children who have not reached the onset of puberty. A child's state of development is determined by assessing secondary sexual characteristics rather than chronological age. Although the onset and timeline of this process is unique for each child, there are predictable, identifiable stages of maturation. This Protocol recognizes that all children are unique and will require interventions that are population specific based and tailored to the individual child.