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Adult sexual abuse
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Adult sexual abuse

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Contributors: Robert Lachky MD, Mitchell Linder MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Sexual abuse and intimate partner violence are widespread problems, although it is difficult to know the exact incidence. Both male and female patients can be affected, although women and girls are reportedly more affected (>70%) than men and boys. There is significant overlap between pediatric and adult sexual abuse.

Subsets of adult sexual abuse include human trafficking and intimate partner violence. Intimate partner violence is defined as threats, attempts, or completed acts of physical or sexual violence or emotional abuse by a current or former intimate partner.

Psychiatric disease is very common in the abused patient and can include substance abuse, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.

10%-69% of women report physical assault by an intimate partner at some point in their life.


T74.21XA – Adult sexual abuse, confirmed, initial encounter
T76.21XA – Adult sexual abuse, suspected, initial encounter

149141000119102 – Adult victim of sexual abuse

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Human trafficking
  • Forced slavery
  • Secondary gain / revenge (partner lying about abuse)
  • Organ harvesting
  • Increased abuse, emotional distress in the setting of screening / admitting to abuse

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Last Reviewed: 06/20/2018
Last Updated: 06/20/2018
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Adult sexual abuse
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Adult sexual abuse : Ecchymosis, Emotional distress
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