If something has happened to the child or young person within the past 7 days, depending on the circumstances of the incident, we might offer an examination which can help to preserve any evidence. We can offer this to self-referrals, even if they don’t want to involve the Police at the moment but feel that you might want to in the future.
The examination will be carried out by one of our specially trained Doctors/Nurses, and the child or young person will be supported by one of our Support Workers throughout. Each stage will be explained beforehand so that the child or young person (and their parents/guardians, where appropriate) are clear about what is involved and why it is required. We will ensure that the child or young person agrees to each part of the examination before it is carried out. They can pause or discontinue with the examination at any point.
What does a Forensic Medical Examination involve?
There are three parts to the examination, which we will work through with the child/young person (or their parent/guardian, as appropriate) to make sure they are clear about what each part is for. They can pause or stop at any time during the examination. The important thing is that they are comfortable with the process. 1. The Doctor/Nurse will normally start with a medical history, this allows us to get a clear picture of the child or young person's overall health.
2. Next is a head to toe examination, which may include an genital examination. We will talk through the different evidence which we can collect, depending on what has happened. This may include:
Making a note of any injuries (bruises, cuts, and scrapes).
Collecting evidence from the skin, using a small cotton swab, as well as taking samples of hair, urine, and other bodily fluids.
An internal check up (like a smear test) to take samples, or a genital check for boys (post-pubertal only)
We may also suggest that we keep the child/young person's clothing (especially underwear).
3. Finally, there is a discussion about any emergency contraception or other treatment they might need to make sure that their health is properly looked after (this is dependent on the age of the young person and the nature of the incident(s)).