Sex abuse survivors speak out to support Adult Survivors Act

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Evelyn Yang, Laurie Kanyok and Dian Saderup Monson recently met for the first time to share their stories of survival; all three women were patients of Manhattan Gynecologist Dr. Robert Hadden.

In 2019, when US Attorney Audrey Strauss announced federal charges against Hadden, she described a pattern of abuse that spanned decades.

“As alleged, between 1993 and 2012 Hadden sexually abused dozens of women and girls in his medical office,” she said.

In 1993, Monson was pregnant with her first child. Dr. Hadden allegedly assaulted her during her very first visit, Monson told PIX11 in a recent interview.

“It was not something I could talk about,” Monson said. “It just wasn’t.”

While Monson recalls writing a letter to hospital management at Columbia University where Hadden worked, he was still practicing medicine in 2012 when Laurie Kanyok became a patient.

Kanyok remembered going to the police after Dr. Hadden allegedly sexually assaulted her during an exam.

“They took me to get a rape kit test,” Kanyok said. “They took me to the precinct, and downtown to the DA’s office.”

Kanyok said prosecutors told her there wasn’t enough evidence for criminal charges against Dr. Hadden at the time.

Months later, Evelyn Yang became one of the last of Dr. Hadden’s patients.

“He perfected his craft over time; that is the heart of a serial predator,” Yang said.

Hadden entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him.

The three women spoke out about their Dr. Hadden experiences in hopes it will encourage New York State lawmakers to pass the Adult Survivors Act. The legislation would create a one year look-back window for adult victims of sexual abuse to file civil lawsuits, no matter how long ago they were abused.

Senator Brand Hoylman has been fighting for the legislation since 2019.

“There’s an urgent need for it because many survivors have been locked out of court,” he told PIX11 in 2020.

The State Senate passed the Adult Survivors Act last week. Yang hopes the State Assembly will pass the legislation before lawmakers break for the summer later this month.

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