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Journal Article

Citation

Ades V, Wu SX, Rabinowitz E, Chemouni Bach S, Goddard B, Pearson Ayala S, Greene J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2019; 133(4): 803-809.

Affiliation

Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine, the New York Harbor Veterans Administration Healthcare System, NYU School of Medicine, and New York University, New York, New York.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins)

DOI

10.1097/AOG.0000000000003186

PMID

30870277

Abstract

This article describes the Engage, Motivate, Protect, Organize, self-Worth, Educate, Respect (EMPOWER) Clinic for Survivors of Sex Trafficking and Sexual Violence located at Gouverneur Health in New York, New York, as a model for integrated gynecologic and psychiatric care of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Although patients with a history of sexual trauma often have critical health needs that persist long after the traumatic event, most existing services for survivors of sexual violence focus solely on the provision of acute care immediately after the violence has occurred. There are very few clinics in the United States dedicated to managing the significant long-term medical consequences and sequelae of sexual violence in a trauma-informed setting. We report on best practices for the provision of trauma-sensitive medical care to this patient population based on those employed at the EMPOWER Clinic. In particular, we outline some of the unique considerations for treating survivors relating to taking a patient history, conducting the physical and gynecologic examinations, ensuring confidentiality, and managing legal issues. Finally, we reflect on the challenges faced in sustaining the EMPOWER Clinic and the importance of the existence of a clinic dedicated to this specific population.


Language: en

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