UCLA and its former gynecologist, Dr. Heaps, have been in the news a lot lately. Chances are, you have a lot of thoughts and questions about your alma mater, your visits to Dr. Heaps and our investigation. You are not alone.
Thousands of other women who went to UCLA feel the same way. Your former classmates, sorority sisters, sports teammates, or maybe your roommates – UCLA alumnae across the country are all thinking the same things, and we’re here to help you sort through the confusion and frustration.
“He did those things to me too.”
Victims have come forward to publicize the terrible actions of UCLA’s Dr. Heaps, exposing the university’s cover-up. But possibly thousands of women at UCLA were affected. You are not alone in your experiences with Dr. Heaps, and many women experienced the same – unwanted touching, awkward and inappropriate comments, unnecessary pelvic exams… There is strength in numbers, and you have a place among many others just like you.
“I didn’t report it because I thought no one would believe me.”
It’s common for victims of sexual violations and unwanted behavior to feel trapped. Trapped in a cycle of thought that keeps them silent. Women who were patients of UCLA’s Dr. Heaps are coming forward, recounting their experiences to reset the narrative and give voice to the truth that UCLA hid for decades. The MeToo movement is a source of power, and you are not alone in feeling unsure, but know that your fellow UCLA graduates believe in you.
“I didn’t report it because I didn’t know what Dr. Heaps did was wrong.”
This is probably the most common thought running through the mind of every woman who was a patient of Dr. Heaps: “I didn’t know.” So many of the women who visited the women’s health clinic at UCLA had never been to a gynecologist before. Many of them were young and not confident in standing up for themselves. And for some, the inappropriate behavior took place years ago. But none of these things make your experience any less valid, or any less unacceptable. What Dr. Heaps did to his patients was simply inexcusable, and now that women are talking about their experiences, they know what he did was wrong.
“I reported it, but only to UCLA. Isn’t that enough?”
UCLA’s response to this unspeakable truth has always sought to serve and protect only UCLA. Your alma mater chose to cover up Dr. Heaps’ actions for decades, allowing more and more women to be abused. It ignored reports from nurses and other staff. UCLA’s ‘reporting hotline’ for Dr. Heaps' victims is only there to obtain information to use to protect itself at trial. If you reported your experience to UCLA, put that information into the hands of those helping women abused by Dr. Heaps.
“Why didn’t UCLA protect me?”
UCLA didn’t protect you because it sought to first protect itself. UCLA kept Dr. Heaps’ actions a secret, leading to decades of abuse of thousands of women. Instead of admitting its oversight and stopping the cycle of abuse, it took a bet. UCLA bet that it could silence those who sought care from Dr. Heaps. UCLA needs to be held accountable for its choice and cover-up.
“I’m scared to come forward.”
Shame, denial, embarrassment and other social consequences are always barriers and fears faced by anyone who has been subjected to unwanted behavior or abuse. Victims endure worries about being socially ostracized or blamed for what happened, but you are not alone. If you do come forward, you would be joining hundreds of other women, your fellow peers from UCLA, who all went through the same thing you did. Our firm is fighting with all of the strength of the law to protect and empower all women who were victims of Dr. Heaps’ unwanted heinous behavior and UCLA’s cover up.
“I haven’t come forward because I didn’t tell anyone at the time. It’s too late, right?”
No, it’s not too late. Now is the time, as UCLA alumnae are stepping forward to bravely retell history and air the truth. Until now, UCLA had covered up what happened to you and other women at UCLA. Until now, you had no voice. Now, the power is in your hands.
“I don’t want to face him.”
If you choose to step forward against Dr. Heaps, it is highly unlikely that you will ever have to confront him. Our attorneys are here to protect you with the full force of the law. Your safety is our top priority, and this case will only empower you and your voice, never put you in harm’s way.
“I don’t want my family, friends or colleagues to find out.”
Women represented against Dr. Heaps and UCLA can choose to remain anonymous, appearing in publicly filed lawsuits as “Jane Doe” only, with no personally identifying information. You are not alone in your concern to remain anonymous, and you will have full control over this decision, should you come forward.
“I don’t want to think about what happened.”
Our attorneys understand the painful and often regretful experience of recalling abuse. The women working on this case have a long history of speaking with victims of abuse, trauma and violence and know how to help you find strength, comfort and clarity from your experience with Dr. Heaps. We know what you experienced was difficult. This is your opportunity to make it right and take a stand. You are not alone.
“I don’t know enough about lawsuits.”
We’re here to help. For most, the option to file or join a class-action lawsuit is a completely new experience, and you likely have lots of questions. Our attorneys – women who have represented and fought for the rights of other women for decades – understand and are available to speak with you at any time, via phone or email. Email email@example.com or call 1-888-381-2889.
Have other questions? Read our FAQ to find out more about the lawsuit »
Wondering what you can expect? Find out here »
“I want justice for all victims.”
Join the fight. Our investigation is seeking to make real change happen for the many women who suffered the same experience you did. You are not a victim, you are a brave survivor reclaiming her life, and you have the power to help reclaim the lives of others just like you.
Hagens Berman has dedicated its legal team to standing up for victims’ rights, trying the first sexual harassment case in Washington state, representing 8,000 victims at CBRE. Hagens Berman's attorneys also recently achieved a nationwide sexual harassment settlement on behalf of 16,000 women. Your claim will be handled by experts in this area of law who will care for your rights.
We’re here to fight for you. You are not alone.