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The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has made the decision to revoke my medical license because they have accused me of sexually abusing a patient.

I am a survivor of physical and sexual violence, extortion, and prolonged psychological terror. The man who did this to me is a serial predator with a lengthy criminal record who was recently declared a registered sex offender for life. He has terrorized and abused multiple women and girls, including me. This is the man that the College alleges I sexually abused.

Two weeks ago, I made the very heart-wrenching decision to not defend myself against these accusations at a formal hearing. It is my intention to share the reasons why I made this decision, and also to share the details of what I experienced at the hands of this man, but only when I am ready. For now, I will just say that I have lived in constant fear of both him and the College for a very long time. I am very fearful of the consequences of making even this simple statement.

I want to encourage anyone who is experiencing gender-based violence to seek help. I stayed trapped in a place where I was controlled and terrorized for a very long time because I was afraid of the consequences of asking for help. Despite everything that has happened, I am still alive. There were times when my survival was very much in doubt. After much reflection, I wish that I had asked for help. Perhaps that would have enabled me to escape earlier from my abuser’s violence and control.

Moving forward, I am committed to working towards better outcomes for women and girls who are experiencing gender-based violence. I fully intend to share more of my story someday soon.

Until then, take very good care.

Psychiatrist turned aspiring writer. Survivor of coercive control, sexual violence, and systemic abuse. Yoga is my medicine. Twitter @KarinKerfoot

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