Victims of rape: the physician's role in treatment

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Physicians are seeing an increasing number of women who have experienced rape. Proper collection of physical evidence and thorough documentation during the initial examination are essential for potential use in the legal system. Psychological support and follow-up care for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the victim's emotional recovery, and return to normal functioning are also the sine qua non components for the woman's transition from victim to survivor of rape. In the past 2 years several articles have been published on the initial physical examination after the rape. In addition, there are increasing numbers of publications on the emotional and follow-up components of care. This article is an attempt to demonstrate the need for both components of care.

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