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The Ohio State report on Dr. Strauss confirms what so many survivors of sexual violence already know: Institutions are some of the worst enablers of sexual assailants. I read the Perkins Coie Ohio State findings so you don't have to. THREAD #MeToo

For a recent example of K12 schools ignoring-- and enabling-- perpetrators, check out this Erica Green's reporting for the New York Times. Schools are still responding poorly to reports of sexual abuse-- & it is happening in your neighborhood school. 2/

Dr. Strauss worked at OSU from 1978 to 1998. He died in 2005. Like Larry Nassar, he used his position as a physician to abuse his victims. In the case of Strauss, the victims were male. Investigators found he abused AT LEAST 177 patients. 3/

University personnel knew about the abuse as early as 1979. In other words, if the organization had been more concerned with students' well-being instead of protecting their image, they could have stopped this predator a year into his abuse at OSU. 4/
In 1996, OSU disciplined Strauss & removed him from Athletics & Student Health, but even though this complaint was related to Strauss sexually abusing a patient, he was allowed to keep his status as a tenured faculty member and received the "emeritus" honorific post-retirement 5/
While Strauss was still employed as tenured professor at OSU-- after the university was aware of his abuse-- he opened up a men's clinic off campus where he continued to abuse OSU students. 6/
The sham investigation / inadequate response is a common strategy organizations employ to give the appearance they care about survivors while failing to take the complaints seriously. 7/
OSU personnel undermined the credibility of victims time after time-- calling the reports of abuse "unfounded rumors." Too often when victims of abuse appeal to their schools for help (universities and K12), they are framed as false accusers and the perpetrator is shielded. 8/
While OSU personnel discredited survivors, the independent report "found the survivor accounts concerning their experiences with Strauss to be highly credible and cross-corroborative." False reports are rare. 9/
Many men decided to participate in the investigation because of their children. Survivors often become more burdened by their past abuse when their children are the ages they were when the abuse was perpetrated. This is common. 10/
Even after 20 to 40 years, survivors recounted the tremendous pain and difficulty they faced in telling their stories to investigators. When organizations frame survivors as unreliable or untruthful, it puts the community at risk & adds to the trauma. 11/
Guess what? Strauss was also a physician for the US Olympic Committee Drug Control Program. The Ropes and Grey report from last year found that the USOC knew about Nassar's abuse and failed to act. 12/

Back to the misconduct at OSU-- There are 177 survivors who came forward. It is likely this represents just a fraction of his victims. In addition to abusing students in his office during exams, Strauss also showered with students and engaged in "leering" behavior. 13/
Rep. Jim Jordan has denied knowing about Strauss' abuse, but Strauss was "infatuated" with the wrestling team, and often timed his workouts to shower w/ the team or leer at them, per the report. It is implausible Jordan did not know about this. 14/

In media reports, survivors have claimed Jim Jordan knew about the abuse and refused to act. "Jim Jordan knew. He didn't do anything about it." (via media reports). Per the OSU report, 84 students reported Strauss would shower with students. 15/

Like Nassar and Dr. George Tyndall, the gynecologist at USC, Strauss attempted to disguise his abuse as medical procedures, though some of his abuse was very brazen and open. (In Tyndall's case, the medical board called his procedures "non-clinical") 16/

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on abusive doctors years ago. This kind of abuse is cloaked in secrecy, and doctors often have continued access to potential victims-- their patients. 17/

Strauss was conducting "medical exams" outside of his clinical office, including in the Larkins Hall locker room. One student was so disturbed, he got a note from his hometown doctor so that he would not need to be seen by Strauss again 18/
Strauss conducted research studies during which he abused OSU students and even minor children, one of whom was 14. He would also hang out at a Columbus high school and leer at students in the locker room. 19/
The report found that OSU turned a blind eye to Strauss' abuse, which was called an "open secret." Students viewed the abuse as a type of hazing or "rite of passage." Many stayed silent because they did not want to lose their scholarships or positions on sports teams 20/
In the report, one coach was concerned enough to confront Strauss about showering with students and being "too hands on," but was not concerned enough to pass his concerns on to anyone else. 21/
In 1994, a letter in response to complaints from a fencing coach alluded to "decades of rumors" about Strauss. The fencing coach had complained about improper & unnecessary genital exams. 22/
It was documented that Strauss said he was "aware of the unfounded rumors that began 10 years ago among the fencers." He also accused the fencing coach of having a "vendetta" against him. 23/
There were numerous other complaints about Strauss that the Head Team Physicians Bob Murphy & John Lombardo. An athletic trainer said it seemed Lombardo had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy about Strauss. 24/
The document outlines many other cases of reports that were dismissed as "lighthearted" rumors or minimized in other ways (in one case Strauss' behavior was labeled "weird and voyeuristic," but was ignored). 25/
There are dozens of frustrating accounts of reports followed by absolutely no meaningful action or response.... for decades. 18 student trainers said they were aware of "rumors" or complaints dating back to the 70s. 26/
Bottom line: A lot of people knew, and instead of taking reports seriously, they dismissed them as "rumors." They normalized "non-clinical" genital exams, red-flag practices (e.g. conducting exams of certain athletes alone), leering/ voyeurism. 27/
While a lot of people participated in the investigation, some refused to participate. Others had "memory problems." 28/
Media reports just don't capture the fear and trauma these athletes faced because of Strauss-- many were abused, and others feared abuse to the point that they would try to get someone to accompany them to their appointments. 29/
In addition to dismissing reports, OSU personnel allowed Strauss to ignore medical record keeping practices and protocols-- failure to adhere to these procedures made it easier for Strauss to abuse patients. 30/
Meanwhile, at Strauss' off-campus practice.... After one exam, a student shouted to others in the waiting room that they should "not see this doctor." 31/
He asked that his medical records be destroyed because he was afraid Strauss would use them to find him. That is how disturbing his appointment with Strauss was. If Strauss hadn't been a doctor, everyone would have called this "abuse" not an "appointment" 32/
Once complaints were made outside of the Student Health and Athletic departments, Strauss was suspended from seeing patients at OSU, but he had his off-campus practice, and he was even granted "emeritus" status after he retired. 33/
Strauss killed himself in 2005. His abuse and the institutional betrayal perpetrated by OSU caused tremendous harm to hundreds of athletes-- institutions should operate by a higher standard. Instead to many protect perpetrators at the expense of survivors. END
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