Education And Debate

Social services can act on anonymous information about abuse

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 03 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:56
  1. Jane Wynne, consultant paediatriciana (
  1. a Community Child Health, Leeds LS2 9NJ

    The link between physical and sexual abuse was not well recognised 15 years ago. It is now known that about one sixth of physically abused children have also been sexually abused.1 When this child was admitted to hospital for investigation, had she been referred because of her parents' or general practitioner's concern? The admission gave staff an opportunity to observe her behaviour and her attachment to her parents. Why hadn't her parents noticed she was upset? Did she talk to the nurses? Did she have any genital symptoms such as soreness or dysuria? Did anyone ask the child why she had so many bruises? Probably not in 1980, but all these …

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