Fast Five Quiz: Addressing Sexual Assault

Richard H. Sinert, DO


May 08, 2019

No patient should feel interrogated, and the physician is not responsible for investigating all aspects of the sexual assault. However, according to the AAFP, the following is recommended if women who have been sexually assaulted offer information:

  • Try to use the patient's exact words.

  • Use the phrase "sexual assault" and avoid using the term "rape," which is a legal and not a medical term.

  • Document any identifying information provided about the assailant as well as the patient. This includes the date, time, and location of the assault; any specific circumstances related to the assault, including details about the specific sexual contact and any bodily fluids involved; and any activities the patient has done since the assault (eg, bathing, changing clothes).

  • Note any use of restraints (eg, weapons, drugs, alcohol).

  • Review the patient's gynecologic history, including the most recent consensual sexual encounter.

Read more about the presentation of sexual assault.