Medical Patient Modesty - a non-profit organization to improve patient modesty in medical settings


Understanding Sexual Abuse Victims

Victims of sexual abuse or assault have their world changed forever. These people who often become patients feel degraded and humiliated by opposite gender care and traumatized when this care is performed by strangers.

Sexual assault victims who have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have the right out of medical necessity to obtain same gender care. PTSD is a recognized disability. Not giving it to them is the same as asking a wheelchair bound patient to get up and walk if they want to be attended to. Patients with PTSD often have triggers that will elevate blood pressure and give false readings. Someone coming into the ER under those circumstances would find it medically necessary to accommodate same gender care to meet their disability in the event of suspected heart attack or stroke. For this reason, all hospitals should always have enough female EKG technicians, doctors, and nurses to accommodate sexual abuse victims and other women who don't feel comfortable with male doctors for a variety of reasons.

Patients feeling humiliated will avoid healthcare which is a serious problem. The medical community needs to be more sensitive to patient need first and foremost.

Many rape victims who have to come to the hospital after being raped don't want male doctors to examine them at all. It would make them go through even more trauma. It is very important to get evidence of the rape to charge a rapist with a crime.

Some sexual abuse victims have expressed that they feel that even some female doctors or nurse practitioners have been insensitive to their needs for modesty. For example, one lady who had been raped in the past was very upset about the way her pap smear was conducted by a female nurse practitioner because she left the door of the examining room open at times and let an assistant come in. She also had a very short gown that didn't offer enough privacy. Another woman was upset at the fact that a female gynecologist didn't close blinds on a window in the examining room.

Contributed By: Belinda Diamond, Writer/Researcher psycho social aspects of medical care that are detrimental to sound mental health; patient advocacy training for victims of sexual assault.

If you have problems with healthcare after sexual assault, you can get .


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