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Sexual Assault by Chiropractor

Dr. Richard Ulm of the Columbus Chiropractic & Rehabilitation Center in Dublin, OH was my chiropractor for a pelvis/lower back running injury I had been trying to recover from for 1 year using multiple techniques and doctors.

I began noticing an unusual behavior from him and an unusual issues began to arise. I left a couple of times dizzy and nauseated. He as my first chiropractor and I had no idea what to expect and what was bad chiropractic form.

The last 3 visits were extremely unusual and that’s when I first started noticing what appeared to be an alteration to a thoracic adjustment. At the last appointment, I chose to hug myself to prevent his chest from touching mine when doing the thoracic adjustment.

He asked me about my job. I loved my job and just started talking about how as an analyst, my job was to reduce a paper’s topic to search terms that were more narrow than Google. I specialized in Nuclear Stuff. I was looking at something on the wall away from him when I looked over to my left knee….the knee he said he would examine. Instead of examining it, to my shock, he just stood there watching me and smiling me….way too happy for a chiropractor with his patient. Then at that moment, dread hit me like a semi….I knew exactly what was about to happen. Deep in my gut, I knew my lucky streak of never being sexually assaulted by a doctor was over. And indeed it was. Frozen, I lied there watching him sit down methodically beside my left knee. Then pulled my pants leg…yoga pants…up my leg. Then he looked down at my knee and put a thumb of each hand on either side of my knee towards the back….and then with another finger of each hand…he placed it on the top….of the lower portion of my knee….methodically…that was the most scary aspect of it…methodically. His fingers rested beneath the pants of each side of my knee and made eye contact. I chose to stare him down….he never looked back down while slowly, and extremely slowly, and I’ll highlight extremely slowly again, lightly, raised his fingers only above my knee cap and then dragged the thumbs along. At that moment, I tensed, prepared to slam my foot into his face. But, he suddenly looked down, to carefully arrange my pants over my knee to perfection. Perfection. Then he stood up and acted like nothing had happened and continued the knee exam. I silently tried to figure out what happened and what to do next to escape without him doing anything else.

I have the POWER over him which is why he did it to me. He hated me.

Before running out the door, I lied in shock wondering what to do….if a sudden movement would lead him to full fledge rape or grabbing a breast. I got up and decided to follow his orders to not upset him more. I stared at the wall behind the table fighting the urge not to hide in a crouch and start screaming. The illogical side said I’d give the poor old people beside me a heart attack. So I didn’t. I saw the crazy on his face….bright red cheeks…huge smile…as he leaned against the desk. I ran to grab my purse that was sitting beside him on the floor and took off. I heard him chase me and turned around determined to stand full frontal against him. I stared him in the eye and met his handshake….He wished me a Happy Holiday. The bastard. For the first time in my life, I snarled at him….and lied…the only answer to maintain civility….”The Same.”

For weeks, I obsessively checked out his business page on Facebook and his family trying to comprehend what happened. Totally destroyed, I blamed myself. Trying to figure out what I did to piss him off….Trying to undo the psychological damage of the transfer of me suddenly thinking we had a future together yet knowing full well that was the psychological damage of the sexual assault. Time only heals because you forget….and I coincidently sustained a concussion just weeks after the sexual assault from an auto accident. My memory is more fuzzy of the event because of it but the damage is real. Doctors have the most intimate relationship with a patient…and it’s equivalent to a husband. Same days I laugh about it because people don’t understand. They think it’s funny or sexy and laugh or joke about it. I’ve lost a lot of friends. But the days I really think about it, those are the days I will never get back.

— Survivor, age 35

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