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J R Soc Med. 2005 June; 98(6): 295.
PMCID: PMC1142254

Emergency care for complainants of sexual assault

Dr Wiese and his colleagues (February 2005 JRSM1) provide a reasonable overview of sexual assault examination practice in emergency departments. They are incorrect, however, in coupling Australia with the USA in the use of specially trained sexual assault nurse examiners. Sexual assault forensic services throughout Australia are almost exclusively provided by doctors, most of whom have training and experience in this field. At present there is no move to transfer such services to forensic nurse examiners, except in circumstances where there are significant difficulties in the availability of medical practitioners, as is found in rural and remote parts of Australia. The authors are most accurate when implying that sexual assault services (and indeed all forensic services) should be provided by practitioners with specialist qualifications or training. The implementation of forensic nurse examiners in rural and remote Australia will proceed only after specialist training in the appropriate fields.


1. Wiese M, Armitage C, Delaforce J, Welch J. Emergency care for complainants of sexual assault. J R Soc Med 2005;98: 49-53 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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