Allegations Against University of Michigan Physician Robert Anderson
Recent reports have surfaced involving sexual abuse and sexual assault allegations against former University of Michigan team physician Robert E. Anderson. Mr. Anderson worked at University of Michigan in various capacities including Director of Student Health Services, Athletic Department Team Physician, and as a faculty member of the Department of Internal Medicine. Allegations against Anderson include sexual misconduct and unnecessary medical exams such as inappropriate sexual touching and comments to student athletes as well as other members of the University of Michigan community.
Reports have also indicated that University of Michigan administrators and representatives may have been aware of allegations of misconduct against Anderson as early as the 1970s. Drew Cooper & Anding believes that institutions and individuals who contributed to or enabled an environment that perpetuated sexual abuse and sexual assault must be held accountable.
Sexual Violations are Civil Right Violations
Drew Cooper & Anding views sexual abuse and sexual assault through a civil rights lens. Abuse and assault of any kind is a gross infringement on constitutional, federal, and state civil rights and liberties. It is no secret that children and young adults, and other marginalized groups have suffered abuse, assault, and discrimination in healthcare. Often, those who have suffered sexual assault and abuse and may feel cultural or societal pressures to stay silent. Silence provides a breeding ground for abuse. Guilt and shame belong on the perpetrator and enablers.
Sexual Abuse /Assault in a Medical Setting
Often, when seeking medical treatment, we are in an extremely vulnerable state. Certainly, student athletes whose scholarships and education are dependent upon their health and well-being may feel they have no choice but to follow the advice of college or university medical professionals, even when that means acquiescence to “treatment” that involves sexual misconduct. Drew Cooper & Anding believes that no one should suffer sexual abuse or sexual assault at the hands of a medical professional.
Survivors Should not Suffer in Silence
No matter your race, age, gender, or sexual orientation, you should be treated with professionalism and dignity in any medical examination. Whether a student at your college or university, or a member of the community, when seeking treatment for a medical condition or undergoing a medical examination for an employer, the oath taken by physicians should ring loud and clear: Primum non nocere–First, do no harm. No one should suffer sexual abuse or sexual assault under the guise of medical treatment. It is illegal and immoral.
Raising your voice could lead to meaningful change. Your story could help protect others from suffering abuse and assault in the future. As survivors come forward to report sexual abuse and sexual assault, they contribute toward the important work being done to prevent and eradicate sexual abuse and sexual assault in sport, at institutions of higher education, and in medical settings.
Since 1991, Drew Cooper & Anding has fought for the rights of individuals who have suffered injustice. Drew Cooper & Anding supports survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Please feel free to contact our office if you would like to discuss your rights.