About medical evaluations
Is a medical evaluation required?
No child is forced to have a medical evaluation. All children have the option of having a medical examination conducted especially if there are signs of phyiscal injury, or if the type of abuse is unclear without exam. It is rare that the evaluation includes a speculum exam.
Should parents accompany their children to the medical examination?
Parents should respect the child’s decision. Some children want a supportive adult in the room, while others prefer no one be present during the examination.
Will the examination definitely show whether or not abuse occurred?
Most children have no physical injuries after sexual abuse, but this certainly does not mean that abuse didn’t occur. It is advised to have a medical evaluation conducted as many find it comforting and therapeutic.
About forensic interviews
What is a forensic interview?
A forensic interview is a single session, recorded interview designed to obtain an accurate account from a child when there are concerns of possible abuse or when the child has witnessed violence against another person. The interview is conducted in a developmentally and culturally sensitive, unbiased, fact-finding, supportive and non-leading manner by a trained professional.
Who will accompany parents as the forensic interview is conducted?
It is understandable that waiting during the interview may be difficult. We encourage you to bring a friend or other support person and our Victim Advocate will provide support and helpful information while the interview is taking place.
About support and counseling
What support is available for children and parents?
Abused children often do not feel good about themselves. A child may feel frustrated, guilty, scared or helpless. Professional counseling can help children and parents. Our Victim Advocate can make a referral.
What support is available for family members?
Often it is difficult for family members to begin the healing process. Our Victim Advocate will call you to assess your needs and discuss available services.
What should parents talk about with their children after coming to Bivona?
Let your child take the lead. Listen rather than ask questions. Don’t be concerned if your child is too physically or emotionally tired to talk more at first. You should always thank your child for being brave and offer both love and support no matter the outcome.