Disturbing

Report exposes how widespread the problem of doctors sexually abusing patients is

(FRED TANNEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Over the summer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a bombshell report that found thousands of doctors nationwide have sexually abused patients over the last 16 years. Piggybacking on those findings Women’s Health magazine and anti–sexual violence group RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) collaborated on a similar survey of almost 500 women, the findings of which were similarly shocking. Abigail Pesta, a Women in the World contributor, weaves a chilling narrative combining the statistics revealed by the survey and disturbing personal accounts of patients who have been violated by their physicians. First, a look at some of the more head-turning stats:

  • 27 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing some form of sexual abuse
  • 22 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing PTSD symptoms long after the sexual abuse occurred
  • Almost 5 percent of those surveyed report having been violated by a dentist.

Then, there are the troubling personal accounts, some of them stretching back two decades. One Florida woman shared a harrowing story of visiting a specialist in 2014 to whom her general practitioner had referred her so she could have a cyst removed from her leg. The woman explained how after the procedure was finished the doctor’s wandering hand gradually but methodically made its way up her leg to her buttocks. Just as the nurse left to grab some bandages, the doctor violated her in a way that left her thinking, “No, this cannot be.”

Read the full story at Women’s Health.

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