Case 23

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An 8-year-old girl is brought to your office with a complaint of behavioral problems. The mother states that her daughter has begun to have nightmares and complains that she does not want to go school in the morning. She has also been using sexual language, including words for body parts that her family does not use. As the physician, you decide that you want to talk to the girl alone to see if she has anything that she needs to tell you that might suggest sexual abuse. She tells you in private that someone at school has been touching her in the genital area.

You should be careful to:

A. Control the natural response of shock.

B. Promise to protect the child from further harm.

C. Ask why she let the person touch her.

D. Ask leading questions so that you can clearly ascertain the perpetrator.