As a patient, you have the right to expect your doctor to treat you in a professional manner. When a doctor sexually abuses you, it can shatter your ability to trust any medical professional and lead to lifelong problems.

It is sometimes difficult to know the difference between routine care and sexual abuse due to the nature of a doctor’s job. According to RAINN, sexual abuse committed by doctors occurs when medical professionals do something that is not medically necessary and goes against a patient’s requests.

Signs to watch for

Your doctor should explain everything he or she is doing and never touch you without permission. In addition. medical professionals should use gloves and check to make sure you are doing okay throughout the exam. A doctor who wants to abuse you may touch you in ways that are not a normal medical procedure.

You should expect that if you have questions about something happening that he or she will answer them. Medical professionals who have crossed the line may avoid answering your questions because they know they are in the wrong.

If you ask to have someone else in the room during your exam, then your doctor should make this happen. A doctor with the intention to abuse you will try to avoid having a nurse or other medical professional in the room.

Report issues

In general, if anything your doctor does or says makes you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to tell someone about it. You should report anything you do not feel good about even if you are not sure it crossed the line into sexual abuse.

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