A.D.'s Story - St. Joseph's Health Care, London

July 2002 - After visiting my ob/gyn during a routine check up, he questioned me about my personal status, etc. I felt extremely uncomfortable at the time because I was in an abusive relationship and didn’t want to talk about it. Because I wasn’t married he told me he needed to assign my case to a social worker and made me feel like it was a negative thing. 

Fast forward to giving birth... my baby’s father wasn’t there for the birth. In fact, he refused to leave work to see his daughter. However, he ended up showing up the same time this social worker did and I’ll never EVER forget what happened next for the rest of my life. 

Keep in mind he’s my abuser... he told this social worker vicious lies about me trying to make me be the bad guy that I was crazy and out of control and couldn’t take care of anything, including myself. They had this conversation out in the hallway away from me and when she came back in and told me in an accusatory way what trash I was, I immediately went into panic mode. I was crying, I was so distraught that I couldn’t control my emotions - I’m assuming because I’d just given birth.

She never listened to my side. She wasn’t helpful she took his side and listened to him and I was just a nobody. The way she spoke to me, I felt downgraded and worthless. I felt lost and knew if my abuser could do this to me, anyone could. 

Worst part of it was years later when I went to switch doctors and received my file. There was a report in there from her... this was after my abuser was finally arrested and charged for what he did to me. I read it and the words even years later cut like a knife and reopened those wounds.

I was in shock because the report was worse than what she’d said to me. The report was completely fabricated. I asked my family doctor why that was in there, all the lies, and thankfully he took it and said I know the whole story. He took that report, shredded it and said it doesn’t have to exist for you to be reminded.

I absolutely have long term emotional issues every time I think about it. I get upset knowing I was abused. I asked for help and she wouldn’t help me. In fact, if she had listened to me, maybe the abuse would have stopped and I wouldn’t have had to endure any more. Every time I hear the word "social worker" I cringe and fear comes over me that they’re out to hurt people. 

When I saw the report later I wanted to contact her and let her know what she ultimately did to me. That she was wrong and should have listened to both sides. She was supposed to be there for me, not him. Now I trust no healthcare workers with any personal info. I’m actually afraid to have more kids and have this affect me again.

I would definitely say that my age, even though I was 20, was a factor. I was looked down on. Mix that in with family structure and marital status and income and having a baby. Not being married, the ob/gyn made me feel it was a bad thing and made it known. So many factors that never should have been an issue, I should have received the same care as anyone else.

I didn't give any feedback. I was afraid they’d side with each other!

Submitted by A.D.