Review Article

The emergency management of a rape case in a nutshell: adolescent and adult cases

Published in: South African Family Practice
Volume 59, issue 6, 2017 , pages: 230–236
DOI: 10.1080/20786190.2017.1280900
Author(s): JM KotzéDepartment of Forensic Medicine, South Africa, H BritsDepartment of Family Medicine, South Africa


The management of a rape case in the emergency department is shrouded in an unacceptable level of lack of confidence. Since South Africa has a high incidence of rape, the contribution of health practitioners in addressing the crime successfully is essential. The medical management of such cases carries a high level of uncertainty with an accompanying element of not feeling in control. The intimidation associated with the responsibility of being an expert witness complicates the matter further. This article attempts to address the reluctance to get involved in medico-legal cases and emphasises the holistic management of survivors of rape.

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