No patient anticipates being sexually assaulted or taken advantage of by their doctor – the very person who is licensed to take care of them. Unfortunately, even medical professionals who have sworn an oath to uphold ethical standards are guilty of heinous crimes such as the sexual assault and abuse of patients. If you are a victim of sexual abuse by a medical professional in Kansas, take the following steps to protect yourself and pursue justice.
Document the Crime
First, get to a place where you feel safe. It is best not to be alone while you sort through the emotions of being assaulted, which may include denial, anger, grief and anxiety. Go to a trusted friend or family member’s house and tell them what happened. Then, write down your description of events.
Document the details while they’re still fresh in your mind. Include the time and date, where you were, who was in the room, and exactly what was done or said. Keep the clothes that you were wearing at the time of the assault. If you can, avoid showering or bathing before seeing another doctor for medical care.
Get Medical Care From Another Source
Go to a third-party doctor, not the same medical center where the assault took place, for a checkup after being sexually assaulted. Sexual assault can inflict physical injuries to your person that may require professional medical care. In addition, going to a hospital within 120 hours (five days) of the sexual assault can allow trained professionals to collect evidence against the perpetrator from your person if you plan on pressing charges. This is known as a sexual assault forensic exam or “rape kit.”
Report the Crime
If you have experienced any form of sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or abuse by a health care provider in Kansas, report it as soon as possible. While it can be difficult to speak out against a sexual abuser, coming forward and telling your story can hold the perpetrator accountable. It is the first step toward healing from this severe type of trauma.
Report the sex crime to the police if you wish to bring criminal charges against the physician. In an emergency or if you need urgent help, call 911. Otherwise, contact your city’s nonemergency police number to file a report. Then, file a complaint with the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. This board has the power to suspend or revoke a medical professional’s license to practice after investigating alleged acts of sexual misconduct.
Cope With the Emotional Side of Doctor Sexual Assault
Take time to address the mental, psychological and emotional trauma that comes with being sexually abused by a doctor. You have suffered a gross betrayal of trust as an abused patient. It is normal to feel a variety of emotions in the aftermath of sexual assault. Anything that you are feeling is valid. Don’t be ashamed or afraid to get help. You can talk to a trained psychologist or psychiatrist, join a sexual assault support group in your community, or get confidential help through an anonymous hotline, such as the national sexual assault hotline at (800) 656-4673.
Contact a Doctor Sexual Abuse Attorney Near You
For many doctor sexual abuse survivors, coming forward with a lawsuit is cathartic and helps them cope with what happened. Bringing a lawsuit against a doctor or medical professional in Kansas can hold the perpetrator and medical institution accountable – potentially protecting other patients from suffering the same type of crime in the future. It can also provide a sense of closure by bringing a sex offender to justice. Finally, a successful lawsuit could result in a settlement or judgment award that helps you pay for your related medical care, therapies, medications and other losses.
If you’re ready to discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit for doctor sexual abuse in Kansas, contact DRZ Law to request a free and confidential case consultation.