FOR5012 - Child and adolescent sexual abuse - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Forensic Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jennifer 'Anne' Smith
Associate Professor Richard Bassed


Dr Jennifer 'Anne' Smith

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email or phone 03 9684 4115.

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (Online)


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




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.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the role of health practitioners in assessing cases of suspected child sexual abuse;
  2. Identify and explain sexual development and behaviour in children at different developmental stages;
  3. Analyse the ethical and legal issues relevant to cases of suspected child sexual abuse;
  4. Assess and compare normal genital anatomy and physiology, and interpret abnormal genital findings and pathological conditions;
  5. Apply medical and forensic principles to the evaluation, treatment and prevention of cases of suspected child sexual abuse;
  6. Distinguish how protective workers, lawyers and police contribute to the investigation of child sexual abuse;
  7. Recognise and assess the medical and legal implications of a sexually transmitted infection in a child.


  • Workbook 1 (1,000 words) (15%)
  • Workbook 2 (1,500 words) (20%)
  • Case Study (1,500 words) (15%)
  • Presentation (1,000 words) (20%)
  • Essay (3,000 words) (30%)

Hurdle Requirement

A pass in all elements of assessment is required. Students must obtain at least 50 % of the available marks for each element of assessment to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

It is expected that students will need to undertake approximately 12 hours of study per week over the semester. This will include contact time, private study, assessment tasks (case studies, assignments) and, where possible, involvement in casework.

Students are required to attend all workshops offered at the Department of Forensic Medicine during the semester.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: