Sexual abuse is often committed by perpetrators who victims knew, respected, and trusted. While all sexual abuse is devastating, surviving and living with the pain of sexual abuse by a doctor is one of the most unimaginable situations. Unfortunately, however, sexual abuse in hospitals is more common than most realize.
Doctors who commit sexual abuse not only violate patients’ bodies, but their trust. Patients place arguably unrivaled trust in their doctors, seeking their expertise and knowledge to remedy pain—not create it.
Sexual abuse survivors often feel isolated and alone, and many feel that no one shares their experience. However, this is far from true.
While the healing journey is different for every survivor, there are several resources available for confronting the trauma and overcoming it.
Therapy Helps Sexual Abuse Survivors Heal
Although speaking about the sexual abuse victims suffered can be incredibly difficult and painful, it’s often the first step towards healing.
Many therapists and sexual abuse survivor advocates encourage therapists to practice prolonged exposure (PE) with survivors. This method teaches sexual abuse survivors to gradually approach painful memories and feelings, rather than attempting to confront all aspects at once. PE’s goal is to help sexual survivors experience speaking through their pain and feel that their trauma is not dangerous and does not need to be avoided.
Prolonged exposure is primarily a tool for those experiencing PTSD stemming from their sexual abuse. While other therapy practices are effective in helping sexual abuse survivors, studies have shown that survivors who practiced PE showed a significantly greater decrease in their rates of PTSD diagnoses than those who practiced other types of counseling.
Support Groups Help Survivors Share Their Experiences With a Community
Outside of therapy, support groups are an excellent way for survivors to confront and share their pain with others who experienced similar circumstances. Support groups give survivors a community of people who can support one another and relate to their experiences more acutely.
However, many sexual abuse survivors may wish to protect their anonymity when seeking support; asking friends and family also may not be an option. RAINN helps survivors find local sexual assault service providers through their easily navigable page. Survivors can search by their state, ZIP code, available services, or population served to find the right support group for them.
Online support is also an excellent avenue for survivors. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has a large list of online support groups for survivors and loved ones; they can search the dozens of links to find the group that best aligns with their needs. This list focuses on online resources for sexual abuse survivors who may not have access to a local in-person group, have mobility issues, or would prefer to remain anonymous at this point in their healing journey.
Turning to an Experienced Sexual Abuse Law Firm is a Huge Step Towards Closure
While there are often many steps to take before considering seeking justice against the doctor or medical professional who abused you or a loved one, filing a lawsuit is a monumental leap forward.
However, we understand that doing so requires a lot of emotional energy and consideration—and we’re here to answer any questions you have before you decide whether it’s right for you.
When you contact us for your free consultation, we’ll listen to every detail of your experience and help you understand the complexities of filing a lawsuit. There’s no obligation. We’re here to help you, even if that means only providing you with additional support and resources.
Our team of compassionate, experienced sexual abuse attorneys is ready to speak when you are. Here’s where to reach us.