The aim of this study was to describe contextual events, abuse experiences, and disclosure processes of adolescents who presented to a hospital-based Child Advocacy Center for medical evaluation and evidentiary collection as indicated after experiencing multiple perpetrator rape during a single event (n = 32) and to compare these findings to a group of single perpetrator sexual assaults (n = 534). This study used a retrospective mixed-methods design with in-depth, forensic interviews and complete physical examinations of gang-raped adolescents. Patients ranged from 12 to 17 years (M = 14 years). Girls who experienced multiple perpetrator rape during a single event were more likely to have run away, to have drunk alcohol in the past month, and to have participated in binge drinking in the past 2 weeks. Acute presentation of these victims were rare but 30% had hymenal transections and 38% had sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Forensic interviews revealed alcohol was a common weapon used by offenders, and its use resulted in victims experiencing difficulty in remembering and reporting details for police investigation or physical and mental health care. Most victims were raped at parties they attended with people they thought they could trust, and they felt let down by witnesses who could have helped but did not intervene. Although relatively rare, multiple perpetrator rape during a single event is a type of severe sexual assault experience and has significant risks for deleterious health outcomes. These victims require health care by trained providers to diagnose physical findings, treat STIs, screen for trauma, and support victims.
Edinburgh L, Pape-Blabolil J, Harpin SB, & Saewyc E. (2014). Multiple perpetrator rape among girls evaluated at a hospital-based Child Advocacy Center: Seven years of reviewed cases. Child Abuse & Neglect. 38(9): 1540-1551. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.05.008