The purpose of this study was to compare child sexual abuse interview disclosures and judicial outcomes for cases of child and adolescent sexual abuse/assault seen in a pediatric emergency department (PED) before and after the implementation of a simulated child advocacy center (CAC) multidisciplinary model of care.
A retrospective chart and legal records review was conducted from both the PED model of care group and the simulated CAC multidisciplinary model of care for judicial outcomes, child sexual abuse interview disclosures, and sexual abuse case characteristics.
The simulated CAC multidisciplinary model of care did not result in increased indictments, pleas, trials, or disclosure of sexual abuse in the sexual abuse interview when compared with the PED model of care. The simulated CAC multidisciplinary model of care did result in a significantly higher rate of sexual abuse interview completion.
Demographic risk factors for sexual abuse victimization as well as perpetration have been identified in the literature and were supported by this study. Law enforcement and child protective services were more frequently present in the PED under the simulated CAC multidisciplinary model allowing for improved protection of children.