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Health & Spirit

Med student's assault brings on ethical dilemma

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My daughter, "Carrie," just started her third year of medical school.

Carrie was out over the weekend with a lot of other medical students when one fourth-year student: a large, muscular guy -- my daughter weighs about 100 pounds -- started talking to her, and then proceeded to grope her forcefully.

Carrie was too shocked to react; then she panicked and ran out of the bar and all the way back to her apartment in the downtown area of her city -- alone.

She is too embarrassed and traumatized to report this guy to the school, but her friends have offered to report him, without revealing her name.

The man who did this is going to graduate as a physician next year, and even now is responsible for patient care.

She made me promise not to talk to her dad about this and beyond offering love and moral support, I'm wondering if there's anything else I can or should do.

 

-- Worried Mother

Dear Worried: "Carrie's" reaction to this assault is not unusual. With all of the current and growing awareness of sexual assault prompted by the #MeToo movement, you might think that people who are assaulted would stop reacting with shame, embarrassment, or fear. And yet this is exactly how assault victims react, and experiencing these feelings is part of the ongoing trauma.

You should urge her to visit her school's counseling center.

This man, soon to be a doctor, grabs and gropes when he wants to. He's done so in a public place. He will have even more access -- and privacy -- when he is a physician.

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