Details of the Allegation

If the complainant has already provided the details of the allegation to another professional, for example, a police officer, it is not necessary for him or her to repeat the details to the forensic practitioner. Indeed, Hicks (5) notes that attempts to obtain too detailed a history of the incident from the complainant may jeopardize the case at trial because at the time of the medical examination the patient may be disturbed and, consequently, the details of the incident may be confused and conflict subsequent statements. The details of the allegation can be provided to the forensic practitioner by the third party and then clarified, if necessary, with the complainant. It may be difficult for the complainant to describe oral and anal penetrative sexual assaults, and the forensic practitioner may need to ask direct questions regarding these acts sensitively (6).

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