Sexual assault is difficult to process and heal from, especially if you don’t get the justice you deserve. If your abuser was a medical professional, this could also make it difficult to seek medical care in the future. This article will review what you can do if you’ve been sexually abused by a doctor.
After the incident occurs, you may be in a state of shock. And while it can feel incredibly difficult to do, telling somebody else or writing down what happened is critical. Even though your mind’s first instinct may be to forget the event, recalling the details of what happened can help you in your case.
Make sure to record the time, date, what happened, who the perpetrator was, and what was said. You’ll want to call your local law enforcement’s non-emergency number to report and make a record of the crime, and they will ask you for this information.
If you don’t feel comfortable reporting the crime to the police, you can directly contact the facility where the incident occurred or your state’s medical board. More than likely, the facility will have a procedure for this, and you may speak to an HR or medical director who will initiate a formal investigation. The same applies to your state’s medical board, as it’s their job to ensure that practitioners are adhering to their code of conduct.
We understand this next step will be difficult, as returning to a medical environment may be triggering. However, receiving a sexual assault forensic exam within the first five days of the incident is important. This will ensure you can get any necessary medical attention and a record of any DNA evidence or harm that occurred from the assault. At this time, you may want to have someone you can trust with you for emotional support.
After conducting these initial steps, you may want to consider going to a therapist to help you cope with any emotional trauma you may have as a result. A therapist will also help you deal with the emotional weight of going to court and trial.
Now that you know what to do directly after you’ve been sexually abused by your doctor, your last step is to contact a patient rights attorney to give you the representation you deserve. Navigating sexual harassment laws on your own can be difficult. Having a lawyer on your side will give you and your case the best chance at success, so you can receive proper compensation and ensure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.