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Doctors need know more about child abuse

A new project supported by The Council of the Danish Victims Fund will help equip general practitioners (GPs) when they encounter children who have suffered abuse. Medical specialist in forensic medicine at Aarhus University, Lise Frost, is behind the project together with a research group.

2016.09.12 | Helle Horskjær Hansen

An examination in connection with the vaccination of a five-year-old child may, for example, reveal whether a child has suffered abuse. This is the hope of the researcher behind a new project which will provide general practitioners with more knowledge about child abuse.

"The GP focuses on diagnostics and the treatment of illness and not on child abuse. However, the GP is the child's primary and closest medical point of contact and is today the only one who regularly sees the child for medical consultations," says Lise Frost.

She and her research group have just received DKK 1,167,624 from the Council of the Danish Victims Fund towards a project that will provide general practitioners with more knowledge about which signals they should be aware of in order to be able to detect cases of child abuse.

Aimed at reducing failure to thrive

"Our goal is to increase the possibility of early intervention, so that we can help abused children who are not thriving and are suffering from illness," says Lise Frost. She also emphasises that child abuse – whether physical violence or sexual abuse – is often first revealed late in children's lives.

"We hope that the children's life situation can be quickly identified so that intervention can begin at an early stage. This will hopefully mean better life situations for those children who have been exposed to abuse," explains the researcher.

Further information

Medical Specialist Lise Frost
Aarhus University, Department of Forensic Medicine
Direct tel.: (+45) 8716 8317
Email: lif@forens.au.dk

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