1 The Department of Pathology - ÅKH, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University
November 1999 the first Center for (adult) Victims of Sexual Assault in Denmark opened in the town of Aarhus in cooperation with the Aarhus County’s Health Service, Aarhus University Hospital, the police and the Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Aarhus. The Center is located at the emergency department, open 24-hours a day and no referral is needed nor police notification. The victim can talk to specially trained nurses and get a medical examination with collection of forensic evidence performed by a specially trained physician. The day after the acute treatment and crisis care a psychologist will contact the victim. At the moment the victims are offered follow-up by the psychologist, at the department of gynaecology or by their own general practitioner. The Center covers an area of 890.000 people. From 1999 to 2004 the Center received 523 victims. 330 (63%) were seen by the physician - the others were taken care of by the nurses and/or the psychologist. 256 victims examined by the physicians were reported to the police (78%). The Aarhus Center is now well established, and there is an excellent cooperation in the region between the Center and the affiliated partners: the police, the forensic scientists, the department of gynaecology, the county’s general practitioners and the university institutes of psychology and forensic medicine. The prevention of sexual assault is a difficult issue, but the fact that half the cases happens in privacy or at work, and that only 25% of the assailants are not previously known by the victims could indicate, that information to both females and males not to bring themselves in precariously situations might be the right implement.