UNC Charlotte Research Aids Emergency Providers in Identifying and Treating Sexual Abuse

UNC Charlotte clinical nursing professor Kathleen Jordan is leading grant-funded research to aid medical professionals and social workers who examine and care for children who have been sexually abused.

Jordan, who is also an active nurse practitioner, created the study, which is titled “Pediatric sexual abuse: an interprofessional approach to optimizing emergency care.” The goal of the research is to improve not only emergency providers’ ability to identify sexual abuse in their pediatric patients but also their ability to treat these children.

Dr. Jordan has been an advanced practice nurse in emergency care for 30 years and has specialized in pediatrics, emergency care and child maltreatment. She also works as a nurse practitioner with Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates, which staffs Charlotte area Novant Health emergency departments.

Funded by a grant from the UNC Charlotte School of Nursing, the research includes two phases. First, participants will learn from experts during an educational seminar. Presenters include a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, who will discuss the examination of sexually abused children and evidence collection, and a social worker, who will provide instruction about the manner in which to talk with children who have been abused. That presentation will be followed by small focus groups in which participants create an open dialogue about their strengths and weaknesses in identifying sexual abuse, what they learned in the educational seminar and any additional education that may be needed for medical personnel. Those focus groups will allow Dr. Jordan to identify steps that can be taken to further support emergency providers.

Novant Health is one of more than a dozen partnering agencies of the Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team, which has embarked on a public awareness campaign this month. April is Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

For information about the Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team, upcoming events, ways to help, tips for parents and other resources, visit www.meck4kids.org or find the team on Facebook and Twitter.


Since 1983, April has been nationally designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team is made up of representatives from various local agencies, including the Council for Children’s Rights, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, the Mecklenburg County Guardian ad Litem’s Office, the Mecklenburg Guardian ad Litem Advocacy Foundation, Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center, YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, the Arts Empowerment Project, Child Care Resources,  Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, Communities in Schools, the Junior League of Charlotte, Novant Health, A Child’s Place, Teen Health Connection, Care Ring, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services.

Date Published: 
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Global News: 
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College of Health and Human Services Building