Evelyn Yang, the spouse of presidential candidate Andrew Yang, has recently opened up about her own experience of being sexually assaulted by her OB-GYN. It’s so horrifying that she reportedly never even let most of her family know until now.
While reading letters from voters, Yang stumbled upon one that detailed a woman feeling brave enough to report her own sexual assault and press charges. This, along with similar messages she received, is what encouraged her to speak on her own experience.
In her interview with CNN, Yang revealed that while she was pregnant with her first child in 2012, she experienced highly inappropriate behavior from her OB-GYN. The behavior began with inappropriate questions about her sex life and quickly escalated to more physical abuse.
Dr. Robert Hadden had a good reputation at the time. It wasn’t until much later, when she found out about his arrest, that Yang could come to realize he had sexually assaulted her multiple times. She also found out that at least 15 other women had similar experiences with the same doctor.
Hadden was arrested for the first time in 2012, but his arrest was voided and he continued to see other patients. He was arrested again in 2014, ultimately having his medical license removed in 2016 and having to register as a sex offender.
However, he only had to register as the lowest level sex offender. His name would not be available in a publicly searchable registry and he was not required to serve jail time. This light sentence sparks outrage for the victims involved, as well as for their loved ones.
Yang speaking about this story now allows the case to be further scrutinized for how it treats the sex offender so easily.
When speaking with CNN, Yang explains the important role she has as a public figure opening up about these experiences. She says, “Everyone has their own MeToo story. It’s far too prevalent. But not everyone can tell their story. Not everyone has the audience or platform to tell their story, and I actually feel like I’m in this very privileged position to be able to do that.”
Yang’s voice also opens a new door for how to view the MeToo movement. These stories of sexual assault reach far beyond one’s own workplace.
Many other victims of Hadden and predators like him have to live with reminders of their horrors years later. Only this year did New York City implement a law that allows for a doctor’s name to be removed from a child’s birth certificate if the doctor was involved in misconduct and had their license revoked.
At this year’s Women’s March, Yang stood up to tell her story and received much love and support from the crowd. Her speech is incredibly powerful, and one that touches many.
“We need to roar against sexual violence,” Yang states, “and roar against the culture of cover up that so often follows.”