Our sensitive care for survivors of physical violence or trauma program seeks to address the specific physical and emotional needs of our clients by offering a unique program for survivors of violence to include domestic or gang violence, sexual assault, abuse, or incest.
If you have experienced sexual abuse or violence, having a gynecological exam may be difficult. At FWHC, our health care practitioners and counselors are trained to provide sensitive care specially designed for women who are survivors of sexual violence. We encourage you to bring a support person who may stay with you during the process. Our primary objective is to create a safe atmosphere where you will be able to help us plan the best approach for your appointment process, giving you as much control as possible over her appointment process and exam.
The Intake Session
The intake session has no time limit, and any questions or concerns you have will be addressed. For some survivors, the experience of sexual violence can drastically impact feelings about receiving any kind of gynecological care.
Our primary task is to help you assess how you are feeling about the exam or procedure on the day of your visit, help you evaluate how you felt about pelvic exams before the sexual abuse incident occurred, and what approach will help you feel safe and in control. If you are very distressed at any time during your visit, you are welcome to re-schedule the exam or procedure for another day.
During a GYN Exam
For some survivors, the experience of sexual violence can drastically impact their feelings about receiving gynecological care.
- The nurse talks with the woman about what happens before the exam begins.
- A friend or counselor can be present with the client in the exam room.
- The woman controls the pace of the appointment and the exam, and can stop the exam at any time.
- The sheet or drape covering the woman’s body does not block the nurse’s head.
- The woman may ask for a hand-held mirror to view her own exam.
Every woman is offered and provided additional counseling referrals as part of her care. Any other suggestions or ideas you have to make your visit a healing experience is welcomed.