Guidelines for Making the Decision to Report Sexual Abuse of Children

Data AvailableResponse
HistoryBehavioral SymptomsPhysical ExaminationDiagnostic TestsLevel of Concern About Sexual AbuseReport Decision
Clear statementPresent or absentNormal or abnormalPositive or negativeHighReport
None or vaguePresent or absentNormal or nonspecificPositive test for C trachomatis, gonorrhea, T vaginalis, HIV, syphilis, or herpes*HighReport
None or vaguePresent or absentConcerning or diagnostic findingsNegative or positiveHighReport
Vague, or history by parent onlyPresent or absentNormal or nonspecificNegativeIndeterminateRefer when possible
NonePresentNormal or nonspecificNegativeIntermediatePossible report, refer, or follow
  • * If nonsexual transmission is unlikely or excluded.

  • Confirmed with various examination techniques and/or peer review with expert consultant.

  • If behaviors are rare/unusual in normal children.