There are two major parts to my story. Right now, I want to share an experience that happened to me at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
I am currently 100% Disability and in 2007, I was sent for a C&P (compensation and pension) exam at the DVA in Atlanta. I was particularly nervous about this exam because it was not with the doctor whom I had already seen at least twice for C&P exams. That doctor was a private doctor, and I always felt comfortable with private doctors. But I didn’t want to rock the boat or delay the process of the examination. So I went ahead to see this new doctor at the VA in Atlanta.
The exam started off like any other exam. Then, during the interview, the doctor touched his private parts in front of me. There was no desk in between us, so I could completely see everything he was doing to himself. I felt that he was trying to get a reaction out of me. I was so distraught and couldn’t believe what just happened.
I later reported the situation with a patient advocate, but I was way too tired to try and continue to fight with the VA. I was relieved to see a report a year ago finding out that other sexual assaults had happened within the VA.
In saying this, I am writing a book about my situation, the initial rape from my AIT drill sergeant, and of having been the only female in an all male unit. I want to warn women to be alert and aware of your surroundings. When you are mentally ill, some may assume that you somehow loose your ability to comprehend what is happening or are unintelligent. This is a stigma we face when suffering from PTSD. But I am articulate and a very bright individual. I just happen to have suffered from a traumatic situation, but that did not cause me to loose my intelligence! I am now also a singer-songwriter with a promising career. Thank you for having a place where women can share their stories.