dr anderson university of michigan sexual abuse

Sexual Abuse by University of Michigan Medical Professionals

When you go to the doctor, physical therapist, or see other medical professionals, you expect them to treat you with respect. Medical professionals are often viewed as trusted individuals who have their patient’s best interests in mind.

Unfortunately, for many University of Michigan athletes, that wasn’t the case. Just months after the heinous acts of University of Michigan’s physician, Larry Nassar, became public, the university was hit with more sexual abuse lawsuits— against yet another one of their former medical professionals, Dr. Robert Anderson.

Who Is Robert Anderson?

Many former U-M wrestlers are coming forward to shed light on the horrible acts of sexual abuse from their former university doctor, Robert Anderson. According to reports, one anonymous wrestler stated that Anderson,

“Assaulted and abused the wrestler on at least 35 occasions, or 70 total acts of nonconsensual anal penetration and genital fondling, between 1984 and 1989 when the wrestler was between the ages of 17 and 22.”

Additionally, another former U-M wrestler, Tad DeLuca, spoke publicly about a letter he wrote in 1975 which contained similar sexual abuse stories from Anderson. The letter, at the time, led to Tad being kicked off his wrestling team and shamed by his coach.

While there are many individuals coming forward about Anderson’s past abuse, the unfortunate truth is that there are still believed to be many more victims, with the potential for this lawsuit to become larger than the Nassar case.

What Are My Rights in a Medical Setting?

With sexual abuse cases being filed against medical professionals now, more than ever, it’s important to understand what to expect from a medical examination, treatment, or procedure in order to avoid potential abuse.

  • If anything about your examination makes you feel uncomfortable, you have the right to inform the professional that you would like to leave.
  • If you are skeptical about your examination, you have the right to ask someone to stay in the room with you.
  • You have the right to have somewhere private to change your clothes, both, before and after the examination.
  • You only need to undress the portions of your body that are being examined, and you do not need to remain unclothed.
  • If you aren’t comfortable being seen by a doctor of a different gender, you can ask to swap, although it’s important to note that you will likely have to make another appointment.
  • If you have questions about why a medical professional is performing a specific function, you have the right to ask and receive an answer right then and there.
  • The individual examining you must take your pain seriously. If you inform them that what they’re doing hurts or is causing discomfort, they should stop what they are doing immediately.

It’s standard practice for your medical professional to:

  • Explain what they are doing as they do it.
  • Use latex gloves.
  • Encourage you to inform them if anything they are doing feels out of place or makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • Ask you to undress the area they are examining.

It’s NOT standard practice for medical professionals to:

  • Remain silent or to abstain from answering your questions during your examination.
  • Examine private areas (breasts, genitals, etc.) without the use of latex gloves.
  • Refuse to explain why they are doing a specific action during your exam.
  • Reject your request to have a guest in the examination room.
  • Urge you to undress areas that aren’t being examined.
  • Ask you questions relating to your sexual history in an uncomfortable way.

Breaking the Silence

Many survivors find it extremely difficult to talk about their past abuse and for a good reason. It’s common for sexual abuse victims to attempt to suppress their memories in order to help themselves move forward with their lives.

However, it’s important to remember that remaining silent protects the abuser.

At White Law PLLC, our team of experienced Okemos sexual abuse attorneys has been protecting the rights of sexual abuse victims for countless years. We understand that it can be challenging to get answers about your legal options without bringing up suppressed memories. When you’re ready, we encourage you to speak with a member of our team to learn more about how we can help you move forward.

We’re here to answer any questions when you’re ready (517) 316-1195.