6 months Ago, MarcWites
Reporting sexual assault is no easy task, for any person, of any age or gender. Even adults find sharing their story of sexual assault stressful, embarrassing and humiliating, even though they are the victims, and did nothing wrong. The #metoomovement has inspired and empowered women, men and children of all ages to come forward to share their stories. People are now realizing they are now alone, and that their friends, family and peers will embrace and support them, and help them heal from these horrific wounds.
Reporting sexual assault and abuse is even more difficult when the abuser is a teacher, priest, minister, rabbi, or doctor from your past or present. Victims often feel that abusers who hold positions of authority, power and respect are beyond reproach, and that a judge or jury will never find such persons guilty or liable. For these reasons, adult victims of childhood abuse often suffer in silence, for many years – and in some cases many decades –without getting the counseling, love, support and justice they deserve.
A recent news story provides one such example. According to various news sources, Dr. Reginald Archibald, a pediatric specialist for children with growth issues at Rockefeller University Hospital in New York. Dr. Archibald began working at the hospital in 1940 and continued there until 1987. Many former patients of Dr. Archibald have come forward, stating that the doctor sexually assaulted them during so-called routine physical exams, which, according to The New York Times, included touching their genitals, forcing them to masturbate in front of him, and taking naked pictures of them.
Rockefeller Hospital has since released a Statement acknowledging their investigation of Dr. Archibald. As a result of the investigation and the many victims that have come forward with credible stories of abuse, a law firm hired by and that represents the Hospital concluded that at least some of Dr. Archibald’s conduct was “inappropriate”. The Hospital has since rescinded Dr. Archibald’s emeritus status, and deleted references to him on the Hospital’s website. They also have set up a fund for counseling services. Test.
If you are the victim of a childhood sexual assault by a doctor, teacher, priest, minister or rabbi, you are not alone. Such sexual predators almost always prey on multiple victims. In years past, victims rarely came forward, and these horrible acts stayed hidden while the abusers went without punishment. Even if you are the first person to come forward, you likely will not be the only one. And, even if you are the only one, your life, your story, and your pain is deserving of justice, and you deserve the love and counseling you need to heal, no matter what your age.
You might consider reaching out to a relative or friend, to first tell your story in private. Then, you can proceed to contacting law enforcement, or the employer of your abuser (such as the school, hospital, church or temple were they worked).
Marc Wites and The Wites Law Firm represents victims of childhood sexual abuse. Marc is currently representing victims of Dr. Archibald. Marc most recently obtained a record-breaking settlement for four women who were sexually assaulted 11 years earlier by their third-grade teacher.