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467 Aid of Physicians to Children and Adolescents who Experienced Sexual Abuse
  1. R Wolf
  1. Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel

Abstract

This article discusses children and adolescents who have been the victims of sexual abuse. It focuses on the special role that physicians play in identifying such children and providing them with initial support and assistance. The article discusses the short and long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse, including the physical and emotional impact of sexual exploitation and severe neglect. It presents the effect of this phenomenon on the victims, and how they express and deal with their trauma. It is important for physicians and other medical professionals to be sensitive to the possibility of children being abused, scared, or threatened. It is important to note that if the abusers are members of the child’s family, it requires double attention and it’s necessary to involve other welfare authorities. In such a case the physician plays a double role - a health provider and supportive figure. The article also includes a discussion of effects that are manifested when the victim has grown to adulthood, such as personality disorders. The method used to treat these abused children is to bring forth loved ones to mitigate the effect of the injury and help the victim deal with the painful feelings it engenders. The purpose of this paper is thus to draw the attention of teachers and school counselors to the importance of identifying these abused children so as to be able to rehabilitate them and allow them to develop properly, as the sexual abuse of children damages not only their present but also their future development.

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