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So the GP won't sign my legal aid form

(92 Posts)
TtipParty Wed 05-Nov-14 17:01:02

Basically he says there isn't enough evidence to prove i've experienced physical, sexual and emotional abuse from h. I suppose I should've expect this because I never actually went to the police when he tried to suffocate me, or all the times he groped me without my consent, or when he used to take me by the arms and shake me, pushing me against the wall. GP says he only has my word to go on, and that's not enough.

I've filed a complaint, but not sure if I should hold out any hope of it being upheld or acted on? To be more specific, he said he could agree that my anxiety (or 'only anxiety' as he put it) was consistent with domestic abuse, but he couldn't agree that he was satisfied it wasn't due to 'something else'. I asked him what else he thought it could be caused by, and he said he didn't know, could be anything, and his job had to be evidence based.

SweetErmengarde Wed 05-Nov-14 17:05:10

I'm glad you complained.

Some GPs, male and female, can be clueless, condescending pricks.

ImperialBlether Wed 05-Nov-14 17:05:23

I would phone Women's Aid for advice with this, OP. Your GP sounds very insensitive.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 05-Nov-14 17:07:49

Unfortunately, some HCPs don't like women and think that domestic abuse is something that could be avoided if the woman just knew her place. I gree with phoning WA for advice.

TooMuchCantBreathe Wed 05-Nov-14 17:10:34

Is he right? Is there anything documented that indicates domestic abuse? Did you discuss it with him at any time before now? Unfortunately if there isn't anything but your word I don't see how he can sign it in all honesty. Obviously it's harsh but what else can he do? What are you saying he did wrong in your complaint?

<steels self>

Faithless Wed 05-Nov-14 17:11:19

The way he practices medicine should be evidence based (NICE guidelines, journal recommendations), however it is specifically his opinion that appears to be required for this form. I'm not sure how he would actually gather this "evidence"... CCTV in your home? Interview your friends and family?
I doubt that there is any evidence that suggests a practitioner should second guess a patient's account of the cause of their symptoms. Anxiety is generally diagnosed based on patient reported symptoms, not pathology or medical examination. He should take your symptoms and your account of their cause at face value. Get a second opinion and ask not to see this GP again.

GregorSamsa Wed 05-Nov-14 17:32:43

It sounds as if the communication skills were lacking, clearly.

BUT the gp cannot sign a form stating something that he does not know for sure. Anxiety can have lots of causes apart from abuse, so unless there is a paper trail the gp cannot in conscience sign a form stating that your anxiety is the result of abuse. If he signed anyway, he could be required to give evidence in Court to explain on what he based that opinion, and he would get ripped to shreds, and probably reported to his professional body.

I know it's not what you want to hear, and it sounds as if he could have explained things better, but on the face of it he has acted appropriately.

LadyLuck10 Wed 05-Nov-14 17:52:58

But he has only your word to go on. I can't see that he has acted inappropriately.

longjane Wed 05-Nov-14 18:04:21

Surely all dr have to go lots of times is what the patients says?

grocklebox Wed 05-Nov-14 18:11:19

I also don't see any cause for complaint. He told you the truth, he cannot sign a form saying he knows something when he doesn't. He can only state what he knows to be true, not what you've told him is true.
He's not saying you've made it up, he's just saying he has no way of knowing it to be true.

TtipParty Wed 05-Nov-14 18:16:23

Oh ok then. I guess I'll just have to suck it up. I didn't realise I was supposed to be running to the authorities every time he was being a bastard, (which was,most of the time). Guess that's where low self esteem and low self worth get me.

Joysmum Wed 05-Nov-14 18:18:47

But he has only your word to go on. I can't see that he has acted inappropriately

Exactly why I never reported my rape. Abusers don't tent to do it in front of an audience and that's what keeps women trapped sad

Moreisnnogedag Wed 05-Nov-14 18:20:36

I'm sorry you're going through this.

But your GP can't sign the form saying he knows that you've suffered abuse. If you had had multiple previous attendances about abuse suffered I'm sure he would sign. But at the moment he has only your say-so (which I'm sure is the truth) and could be called to justify his claim. He'd be destroyed on stand which would ultimately only damage your case.

TtipParty Wed 05-Nov-14 18:26:10

Oh ok, maybe someone ought to tell the national domestic violence helpline all this, as they seemed to think my gp would be able to help in the circumstances I described to them. (pretty much what I've posted here but more detailed). What a waste of time it was for them and for me.

TtipParty Wed 05-Nov-14 18:29:51

I can't even seem to get being a victim right. It never occurred to me til now there was more than one way to do that.

Tutt Wed 05-Nov-14 18:33:33

TBH I agree with the GP, he would be out of his mind to put his name to something legal that he has no evidence of except your word.
People lie for gain/malice etc (not saying you are) so unless he had evidence it would be unethical.

Theas18 Wed 05-Nov-14 18:35:09

I'm sorry you are going through this but if there are no documented consultations / hospital attendance etc he can't sign any forms sadly.

googoodolly Wed 05-Nov-14 18:42:43

If you'd reported everything in the past, I think he would have signed your form, but he can't risk his job by signing to say that your anxiety is because your H abused you without any evidence, he really can't.

Anxiety can be caused be SO many things and it's not proof in itself of abuse. GP's sign these kind of things based on evidence - and unfortunately, you don't have any.

It's totally understandable that you might not have reported anything - abuse is horrible and terrifying and reporting it just makes it so much more real, but without any evidence (a police report, hospital records, whatever), there's very little the GP can do. I'm sorry sad


AnyFawker Wed 05-Nov-14 18:45:42

I am the first to recommend you get professional help in these situations, but I agree it is not possible for the GP to assist you in this particular detail.

I believe you, absolutely, but it is clear to me that official documentation of this nature has to be based on evidence.

TtipParty Wed 05-Nov-14 18:46:28

I could have done with this information a few hours ago. I might make it my mission to lurk on dv threads shouting 'go and document this now!!!' from now on. Lest some other woman makes the same mistake. I guess the police would react the same way if I went to them now.

Hissy Wed 05-Nov-14 18:49:20

darling I know this is hard, but it is why many of us are urged to report,discuss, seek advice.

abusers are very palusible to the outside world, this is why you need to report injuries, stress, depression and tell HCP what is going on.

the bigger the picture you can build the better.

doctors are trained to pick up the clues victims give of abuse, and which questions to ask to help them open up when the signs are there that they are ready to talk.

don't forget abusers are doctors too sad

don't give up.

AnyFawker Wed 05-Nov-14 18:49:58

OP, the relationships threads are full of people shouting "get this documented", "go to A+E", "see your GP", "call the police" etc. I am sorry. This is no help to you now, of course sad

googoodolly Wed 05-Nov-14 18:50:24

You can always go to the police to report crime, so please do so if you feel like it would help.

The thing is, there is a difference between the police and a GP. The police can come and gather evidence, interview different parties and investigate situations before charging people and letting things go to court.

A GP, on the other hand, just has your word to go on and they simply cannot risk their job by signing a piece of paper saying that someone's partner has abused them without other evidence.

LIZS Wed 05-Nov-14 18:50:43

I'm sorry you are disappointed . Did you really not have anyone you showed injuries to or called for support ? A gp cannot state something without having evidence, that would compromise their professional integrity. It doesn't mean he doesn't believe or support you.

Hissy Wed 05-Nov-14 18:51:57

'I might make it my mission to lurk on dv threads shouting 'go and document this now!!!' "

yup, this is why we say it. because many of us have trodden this path alone too.

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