During the 1980’s and 1990’s several Sexual Assault Centers were established in the Nordic countries in order to counteract the health consequences of sexual assault. In Denmark the Western Danish Sexual Assault Center (WDSAC) was established in November 1999 in the town of Aarhus. The victims are under the circumstances of trust, safety and interdependence offered care, treatment and medical examination including a standardized forensic examination. From 1999 to 2004 the Center has received 523 victims, 338 (64%) of who were seen by the physician. 349 (67%) victims have reported the case to the police. In the region of WDSAC, the prevalence of attending the Center was 45 per 100.000 females at risk. At the present moment several studies are in progress focusing on the basic epidemiology of rape and attempted rape - a way to measure the unknown incidence of rape (the “dark number”) - as well as the frequency of posttraumatic stress disorder in relation to sexual assault. Multidisciplinary centers as WDSAC may be the strategy for preventing the serious disability of the posttraumatic stress disorder following sexual assault.
Scandinavian Journal of Forensic Science, 2006, Vol 12, Issue 1, p. 25-29
sexual assault; clinical forensic medicine; multidisciplinary public centers