Hadassah

Hadassah Nurse Develops New Initiative to Ease Examination of Child Victims of Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, Jun 26 2012

Thanks to the ingenuity of a Hadassah University Medical Center nurse, child victims of sexual abuse are being put at ease with therapeutic dolls, so they are more apt to allow clinical examination, which can provide officials with evidence against their attackers.

Many times these children will not cooperate with an examination because its invasiveness brings back memories of the abusive experience. With proper examination, however, DNA samples from the attacker's semen or skin cells can be collected not only to bring the guilty party to justice, but also to verify that the attacker did not transmit any sexually transmitted diseases to the child.

Dr. Rachel Yaffa Zisk Rony, Forensic Nurse at Hadassah's Bat Ami Center for Victims of Sexual Assault, explains how she came to develop the therapeutic doll program. About 18 months ago, she came across a two-and-half-year-old girl who had been attacked by her nanny's husband. "She didn't let us touch her," Dr. Zisk Rony recalls, "let alone take any sample from her. As a result, the police didn't have any evidence against the suspect. I had to find a solution, and after searching the professional literature, I developed this method with the dolls."

When a child who has been abused arrives at the Bat Ami Center, he or she chooses a doll and gives it a name. The nurse or social worker also takes a doll and gives it a name. Then the staff member performs a series of tests on the doll, while asking the child to describe what she is doing. By the end of this process, the doll becomes the child's friend. Next, the nurse suggests that the child perform the tests on the doll.

The steps of the process are tailored to each child's personality and background. For example, if the child is Orthodox, the staff will not choose an unfitting modern name. They will also find out the names of the child's siblings and avoid giving the doll one of those names. Depending on the child's reactions, comfort level, and personality, it is determined if and when it may be appropriate to ask the child's permission to examine her. Since this initiative began, the number of children who refused to be examined has decreased dramatically.

Comments

No comments yet.
First Name
Email
Comment
Enter this word:

Related Stories

Tuesday, Jun 12 2018

Hadassah Ophthalmology Department Research Highlighted by JAMA

Thanking the Hadassah Medical Organization’s researchers for their ”excellent submission” to JAMA Ophthalmology regarding a multi-center international study of the variable effectiveness of treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), the editors explained that their article was one of just a few from 12 JAMA on-line journals to be highlighted in The JAMA Network Reader this weekend.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Monday, Jun 11 2018

Ruth Radiano: Passionate New Director of Nursing at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus

Translating her passion and professionalism into action, Ruth Radiano, the new Director of Nursing at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, brings a background of 26 years of nursing at Hadassah.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Jun 7 2018

Former NYC Mayor Giuliani Calls Hadassah Hospital a Blessing

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his partner Dr. Maria Ryan, CEO of Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, New Hampshire visited Hadassah Medical Organization in Jerusalem today to get an update on Hadassah’s management of terror events.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Thursday, Jun 7 2018

Hadassah Researchers Develop Definitive Biomarker for Cardiac Muscle Death and Link it to Death from Sepsis

Hadassah Medical Organization researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at the Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Medicine, have developed a blood test which definitively detects death of cardiac muscle cells following an acute heart attack and in the case of sepsis.

READ MORE ›

Donation Questions

donorservices@hadassah.org

(800) 928-0685

Membership Questions

membership@hadassah.org

(800) 664-5646

Missions Department

missions@hadassah.org

(800) 237-1517

Contact Us

40 Wall Street

New York, NY 10005

support@hadassah.org

More ›

Show More