First, Do No Harm
By Abigail Pesta, Women's Health INVESTIGATES: SEXUAL ASSAULT,
Dawn Marie Basham shifted on the crinkly exam-table paper and pulled her skirt up just high enough to expose the cyst on the side of her leg, about four inches above her right knee. It was April 2014, and her regular M.D. in Delray Beach, Florida, had referred her to the doctor she was about to see so he could drain the growth. When he came in, he tugged the fabric higher, tucking it tightly between her inner thighs from behind. That’s weird, she thought. But I guess that’s what they do.
The doctor finished the procedure, then sent the nurse out of the room for bandages. He began wiping Dawn Marie’s knee; she assumed he was cleaning up the iodine. As he calmly asked the then-39-year-old singer about her work, he started dabbing her inner thighs. Her upper thighs. Her buttocks. When Dawn Marie felt his finger penetrate her vagina through her underwear, she froze. “I remember thinking: No, this cannot be.”
But it was. And while the majority of physicians don’t abuse their patients, Dawn Marie’s alleged experience is far from rare. In a new survey of nearly 500 women conducted by Women’s Health and the anti–sexual violence group RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network), 27 percent said . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.