Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
OfferedSouthbank First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor David Wells


Paediatric forensic medicine encompasses the medico-legal issues arising from the provision of a medical service to children. The unit will largely focus on the medical assessment of cases of suspected child sexual abuse.

The aim of this unit is to develop student's skills in the evaluation and management of children and adolescents suspected of being sexually abused. Integral to both evaluation and management will be a knowledge of the relevant legislation, policing and protective agencies, injury patterns, specialised investigative techniques and treatment.


On completion of this unit the student will be expected to:

  1. Display a detailed understanding of the roles of health practitioners in assessing cases of suspected child sexual abuse.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of sexual development and behaviour in children.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical and legal issues relevant to cases of suspected child sexual abuse.
  4. Describe normal genital anatomy and physiology, and be able to interpret pathological conditions.
  5. Apply medical and forensic principles to the evaluation of cases of suspected child sexual abuse.
  6. Display a broad comprehension of the consequences, treatment and prevention of child sexual abuse.
  7. Recognise the role of the other disciplines involved in investigations; protective workers, police, lawyers.
  8. Recognise the medical and legal implications of a sexually transmitted infection in a child.


Assignment 1 - Workbook questions 2,3,4, and 9: 15%
Assignment 2 - Case critique: 20%
Assignment 3 - Workbook questions 12, 13, 14, 15: 20%
Face to face teaching & case presentation: 15%
Essay: 30%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

12 hours of study per week over the semester. This will include contact time (25 hours), private study (text and readings), assessment tasks (case studies, assignments), and involvement in case work, plus a compulsory 2 day workshop

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus (distance education) with a two-three day attendance block during the semester.


A registered medical practitioner who is involved in assessing (or may be required to assess) children/adolescents when child/adolescent sexual abuse is suspected.


FOR2006 Paediatric Forensic Medicine

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