Former patients of Johns Hopkins gynecologist Dr. Nikita Levy are experiencing unimaginable trauma. The invasion of privacy could be much worse than first reported.
As a Founding Partner of the law firm Schochor, Federico and Staton, I am part of the team representing over 1,500 victims of Dr. Levy’s unconscionable violations. As a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney, I have worked with many victims of medical malpractice and obtained hundreds of millions of dollars* in compensation for my clients.
In my course of interviewing Dr. Nikita Levy’s victims, these courageous women have been very clear about what they don’t want to hear from the public. For purposes of this discussion, we are calling Dr. Levy’s wrongful conduct, including sexual boundary violations, the “assault.”
Here is a list of what not to say to Dr. Levy’s victims:
1. Don’t tell them jokes. No one likes being violated.
2. Don’t tell them “it’s just a picture.” Dr. Levy’s violation was a crime of power, control, and trust was used against someone weaker. It is not just a picture.
3. Don’t tell them how they could have avoided it. Believe me, if they could have prevented it they would have.
4. Don’t make fun of them. They are surviving a horrific ordeal. What’s there to make fun of?
5. Don’t tell them it would never happen and why. They didn’t think they would become statistics either.
6. Don’t avoid them. They’re still the same people you’ve come to care about or learned to care about. They’ve just been unspeakably hurt. They’re not contagious.
7. Don’t treat them like they have the plague. Chances are they don’t. Do you?
8. Don’t disbelieve them. According to survey, respondents being disbelieved is a victim’s greatest fear.
9. Don’t tell them not to talk about it. Yes it upsets them to talk about it but that is the only way that they can sort through it.
10. Don’t tell them to put what happened out of their minds. It’s not that simple.
11. Don’t pressure them into situations. Try to understand their need to feel safe. If they disagree about safety issues in the future, please realize that what may sound strange to you may help them feel safe.
12. Don’t tell them they are weak because it impacts our life. They are stronger than words can describe.
13. Don’t ask them what they are supposed to do to get past what happened. They aren’t sure what they’re going to do.
14. Don’t ask them if they couldn’t have done something differently during the exams or picked a different doctor. They thought they made the best choices they could. They are dealing with this in the best way they can and are holding their heads high. Please help them learn to realize that themselves.
15. Don’t tell them that it’s not rape because it was just a picture. They trusted Dr. Levy and Johns Hopkins Hospital and their private images are God Knows where. It feels like rape to them.
16. Don’t get mad if you give them a hug and them pull away. Please know that chances are they’re not rejecting you, they’re just uncomfortable. They may have a hard time being able to respond right now.
17. Don’t get mad if you’re together and the victim has a flashback. We hate the darned things too! Flashbacks are always rough. It’s difficult to know what to do. It’s got to be difficult to watch. Any anger should go the ones who caused trauma and not the victim who has to put her life together.
18. Don’t be afraid to talk to them if they’re upset. Knowing you are there may be just what they need.
19. Don’t be afraid of them. The violation will affect you but won’t rub off on you. The person you love is still the same person as before.
20. Don’t tell them they should take it as a compliment. A violation like this isn’t about lust or attractiveness.
If you or someone you know may have been a victim of Dr. Nikita Levy’s, consider getting in touch with the medical malpractice lawyers at our firm to see how we can help.
*Each case is different. Past results do not guarantee the successful outcome of any future case.