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Monday, 11 May 2015 - 12:20
Young women wait too long to report rape: new study
Adolescents who have been raped often wait more than a week before reporting it. This has implications for both the medical well being of the victim and the forensic investigation of the police. This is according to study conducted by the National Psychological Trauma Center at the University Medical Center in Utrecht. The study was done among 323 female rape victims between the ages of 12 and 25 years. The delay in reporting the rape often means that the victim also delays getting medical treatment, such as treatment for injuries and treatment that would prevent getting STD's, HIV and unwanted pregnancy. This also hinders the forensic investigation, and thus the possibility that the suspect will be arrested and convicted. "In the Netherlands, 1 in 8 women and 1 in 30 men have been raped," Iva Bicanic of the National Psychological Trauma Center explains. "In acute situations it is important that victims get medical, forensic and psychological help as quickly as possible, preferably within one week. This help was previously - and in some regions still is - offered only fragmentedly. This is undesirable. For this reason Sexual Violence Centers have been established in a number of locations in the Netherlands, where the police, doctors, nurses and social workers work together."