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Abuse clinic: Many younger than 18 years

Abuse clinic: Many younger than 18 years

Half of the patients in the abuse clinic were younger than 18 years old

Last year, 68 victims were examined in the abuse clinic at Dornbirn Hospital in Austria. Half of them were under the age of 18.

Violence against children and adolescents In Austria, two child abuse trials caused a sensation in the past week, in which women as perpetrators were also brought to justice. The Dornbirn hospital in Vorarlberg, Austria, organized a further training seminar for doctors on the subject of “Violence against children and adolescents”. The abuse clinic in Dornbirn looked after a total of 68 victims of sexual assault in 2012 alone. Every second patient was younger than 18 years.

Number has increased fivefold Since 2002, the abuse clinic at Dornbirn Hospital has existed. "The abuse clinic as we have it is unique in Austria", says the head Karin Fresis-Bischofberger. In the first year, the outpatient clinic, which was set up on the initiative of the State of Vorarlberg, recorded twelve patients. The number has now quintupled. Only trained female employees and forensically trained doctors look after and examine the affected children, adolescents and women in the facility. A total of 16 people work for the ambulance in addition to their actual tasks.

The number of unreported cases is higher According to Frischis-Bischofberger, the number of patients is increasing and the number of unreported cases is much higher. She also said that children and adolescents will also be involved in the hospital's child protection group, which is responsible for children who have been victims of sexual abuse and those who suffer from violence or neglect. "If we suspect sexual abuse, we will team up with the gynecological department," said pediatrician Reyhan Tschiderer, head of the child protection group. The group looks after around 50 children each year, 30 of them due to sexual assault alone.

Discussing and documenting events As the head of the outpatient department at Frischis-Bischofberger explained, the victims would be admitted to the hospital so that everything could be clarified in peace. The examination of over 18 year olds can be done on an outpatient basis. First, the events would be discussed and fully documented, followed by a full body examination. The findings are then collected in legally usable documentation. (ad)

Image: momosu / pixelio.de

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