Western University apologizes to sexual abuse victims of Dr. Dobrowolski

Between 1985 and 1994, psychiatrist Stanley Dobrowolski worked at Western’s Student Health Services providing counselling to students who turned to him for help in dealing with mental health issues. Dr. Dobrowolski used his position of power and trust to manipulate and sexually abuse some of the young women in his care.

We apologize for the trauma and pain his victims endured as a result of Dr. Dobrowolski’s conduct while at Western, and we apologize for any role that Western may have played in contributing to that trauma and pain. We also wish to apologize to any staff members who were affected by his behaviour. We continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding Dr. Dobrowolski’s tenure at Western in order to ensure, as best as possible, that such a situation could not occur today.

Western’s senior administration and I know that an apology cannot undo what happened to young women who trusted a psychiatrist working in Western’s Student Health Services who, in turn, violated that trust. We do hope they can take some comfort knowing Western recognizes the harm that was caused and that the University is committed to ensuring the safety of our campus community, and, in particular, our students.

We strive to ensure those delivering health and counselling services to students and staff uphold the highest professional standards, as well as honour the University’s values around ensuring a safe and respectful environment in which to learn and work.

In the 22 years that have passed since Dr. Dobrowolski left Western’s employment, procedures and processes on how best to prevent and respond to sexual violence have continued to evolve. We encourage individuals to review some of the actions and commitments Western has implemented to date.

Protected Image.

Amit Chakma
President & Vice-Chancellor
Western University