Dr. George Tyndall, a gynecologist at the University of Southern California, is accused by six women of sexual abuse. On May 21, each woman, including Viva Symanski, filed civil lawsuits against the campus doctor.
Six women claim that the University of Southern California didn’t address complaints from clinic staff about Dr. Tyndall’s behavior.
One woman claims that, during a gynecological appointment in 2003, Tyndall put his entire ungloved hand into her vagina, while making crude remarks.
Another woman claims that, in 2008, Tyndall groped her breasts, and “later he falsely told her she ‘likely had AIDS.’” A third allegation states that Tyndall touched her unclothed body with an ungloved finger, and stared at her during a skin exam.
Many of the complaints stated that Tyndall inserted his fingers into the victims during pelvic exams, and spoke about the “tightness” inside their vagina. In response to this, Tyndall claimed that he only used his fingers for medical purposes, and ascertains that the things he said may have been misinterpreted.
However, an inquiry made by USC found that “pelvic exams were outside the scope of accepted medical practice.”
George Tyndall Worked at USC’s Student Health Clinic for Almost 30 Years
Tyndall, 71, explained that his medical exams were “thorough and appropriate” when first questioned about the allegations.
He added that having a “frank and honest” discussion about his patients’ sex lives was his method of treatment, maintaining that he “never had any sexual urges.”
According to reports, Tyndall has not yet been charged. However, the way that USC handled the allegations has sparked anger among both students and faculty. A petition calling for President C.L. Max Nikias’ resignation currently has more than 1,700 signatures.
In June 2016, Tyndall was suspended with pay for almost a year, and was restricted from entering the clinic.
Viva Symanski Was a Student at the University of Southern California
Viva Symanski, 30, lives in Los Angeles, California. Her Facebook posts make her seem like a fun-loving, free-spirited person who loves to hang out with her friends and make memories.
— Viva Symanski (@circlecloser) September 22, 2017
Symanski writes poems, and shared quite a few on Twitter.
She recently shared the “March for Our Pussies: Hold USC Accountable for Sex Abuse” event on Facebook. It is being held on June 10, 2018, and will start at the Engemann Student Health Center, and end at Tommy Trojan.
With the march, Symanski hopes that USC’s Board of Trustees will further investigate the matter, dismiss those who knew about and were involved Tyndall’s abuse and his cover-up, as well as review the existing rules for responding to sexual harassment.
She asked anyone who was sexually abused to email: [email protected], and hopes that the USC Trojans will be able to change the way the school handles such incidents.
Viva Symanski’s Personal Experience
Symanski claims that, during a 2014 appointment, Tyndall touched her inappropriately, and repeatedly asked her about her sex life.
She hopes that the march will instill permanent change with the university because, “We need to make a statement here that we need to change our practices.”
Provost Michael Quick’s Message
On May 21, 2018, Provost Michael Quick released a statement explaining how they will ensure that incidents like this won’t happen again:
“We have a new director of student health, Dr. Sarah Van Orman, who is a nationally recognized expert in this area. She is deeply concerned about this matter and we promise that she will have all the resources and support she needs to provide the highest quality care to our students. Right now, she is in the process of making job offers to two first-rate gynecologists and she has our full support to revamp operations as she sees fit.”