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

alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Marathon Runner Pays Tribute to Hadassah Medical Team

After successfully running in the 2017 Jerusalem Marathon, Gil Troy pays tribute to Prof. Meir Liebergall, Director of the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Orthopedic Surgery Department, and his medical team, who made this run possible.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Reversing the Odds with Technology and Expertise

It could be a young patient with a virulent flu. Or a man having a severe asthma attack. Or a pregnant woman with a complication of pregnancy.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Cypriot Health Minister Helps Save Israeli Patient

Whether it was a newborn baby with a severe heart defect or a pregnant woman with an unusual ectopic pregnancy, the Hadassah Medical Organization has been known to save the lives of Cypriot patients by helicoptering them to its hospital for complex emergency treatments. Recently, however, it was the Cypriot Health Minister who helped save the life of an Israeli patient.

READ MORE ›
alt_text

Wednesday, Mar 22 2017

Top-Tier Turkish Journalists Receive Inside View of Hadassah Hospital

A delegation of top-tier Turkish journalists, accompanied by representatives from the Israel Foreign Ministry, visited Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem this month, marking the first time a high-level Turkish delegation has come to Israel since the new reconciliation agreement was signed between Israel and Turkey.

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