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Why Is Sexual Abuse So Prevalent in Universities?

Grewal Law PLLC

While sexual abuse is prevalent and far-reaching in many communities, there are certain institutions that host higher rates of abuse than others.

One such institution is college and university campuses.

Sexual Abuse on College Campuses

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), sexual violence is more prevalent on college campuses compared to other crimes.

Approximately 11% of all college students experience sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation. Additionally, male college-aged students are 78% more likely than non-students of the same age to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.

But why, exactly, does this happen to such a degree?

Cover-Ups Are Prevalent

Large institutions, such as the Catholic Church or universities, will do whatever they can to protect their reputations, particularly against something as taboo as sexual abuse.

Two such examples hit close to home in the state of Michigan, including the following:

  • Michigan State University’s failure to protect students and athletes from sexual abuse at the hands of former physician Larry Nassar after several allegations of misconduct
  • University of Michigan’s failure to protect students and athletes from sexual abuse at the hands of former physician Robert E. Anderson after several allegations of misconduct

At U of M in particular, Anderson’s sexual abuse was well-known among athletes, coaches, and other university staff. After Anderson was initially “fired” for “fooling around with male students,” he was then placed into a new position in the Athletic Department, which granted him unfettered access to athletes and students for two more decades.

We know that Anderson’s sexual misconduct was known among university staff from the 1960s to the 2000s. Athletes on the wrestling team, football team, and other sports were required to be seen by Anderson as part of their training, and were made to feel as though they had to keep quiet about the abuse, or consider it a “rite of passage.” These athletes knew that doing otherwise would put their athletic scholarships in jeopardy.

Experienced Sexual Abuse? Contact Us Today

At Grewal Law PLLC, we believe nothing is more important than protecting the vulnerable members of our community—those most likely to experience sexual abuse.

We represented one-third of the first wave of plaintiffs in the Larry Nassar case and helped them achieve a $500 million settlement. We’re in the process of pursuing similar claims for the survivors of Robert E. Anderson’s abuse at U of M.

If you or someone you love has suffered at the hands of Robert E. Anderson or anyone else, we encourage you to contact us today at (888) 211-5798 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

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