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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: rape

 tijae - Fri Dec 15, 2006 6:59 pm

How long afterward can a doctor tell that a woman has been raped?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:46 pm

User avatar In rape cases, the sooner the victim can be evaluated the better. The actual limitation of examination from a legal stand point varies depending on where you are.

Less than 24hrs after the incident would be ideal; however, regardless of the time, I would strongly recommend any rape victim be evaluated by a doctor to insure that they are OK.

Hope this helps.
 tijae - Sat Dec 16, 2006 5:53 am

Actually what I need to know is how long I have to wait before the doctor cannot tell I was raped. I don't want anyone finding out.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:22 pm

User avatar Decisions regarding reporting rape are a personal issue. I would strongly encourage anyone that has been raped to be evaluated by a doctor.

Regarding your question, there is no particular time. As clinicians, we rely on our patients to tell us they have been raped. Otherwise, generally there are no physical signs that can tell us that sexual activity was consentual or forced.

Beyond the physical trauma, rape can have significant impacts on mental well being and overall help as well. If you choose not to involve the legal system I would still encourage you to find someone that you can confide in and talk things through. Just having someone to talk with can be of tremendous help.

Hope this helps.

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