Survivors of former University of Michigan doctor’s abuse demand accountability
‘We’ll leave when the job is done’
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WILX) - With University of Michigan and Ohio State set to square off in just a few days, players from both teams are standing together in solidarity of the victims of sexual abuse of Dr. Robert Anderson.
The Bo Schembechler statue at University of Michigan was vandalized Tuesday in what seemed to be a pro-survivor message.
Parked out in front of the University of Michigan president’s house sits a man and his camper. He’s a survivor.
“I am not John Doe,” he said. “I am Jon Vaughn.”
Vaughn is a former student athlete for the University of Michigan from 1988 to 1990. He is a survivor of sexual assault by the former University of Michigan Dr. Robert Anderson. He said he’s waiting for change.
“We need a complete change in the culture as well as more responsibility from the administration and how they’ve handled it,” Vaughn said.
Anderson is accused of sexually assaulting students for more than 30 years. Survivors, like Vaughn, are asking for accountability from the university. Jamie White, an attorney for many of the survivors, said that’s what he’s helping them get.
“What makes it even more so unique is that the majority of them are African American men,” White said. “These were men who were dropped off in the 1970′s and 1980′s by their parents, told that their children would be protected, that they’d be safe, and the unthinkable happened to them.”
Students on campus joined the survivors in demanding changes across the university to protect victims of sexual assault.
Attorneys said the frustration directed at Shembechler stems from decades ago.
“They were not in a position to push back or fight back. These were scholarships students. Not all of them, but most of them,” White said. “This was their chance. This was their shot. And to push back against Bo Schembechler or the University in any way shape or form would’ve blown that shot.”
Vaughn said he will sit at that spot until they get the acknowledgement they are asking for.
“More than anything else, we’ll leave when the job is done,” Vaughn said.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgement. It can be reached 24/7 at 800-656-4673.
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