Former University of Michigan football star who survived Dr. Anderson sex abuse chains self to tree in protest

Jon Vaughn was a star running back at the University of Michigan decades ago.

Years after his run at UM, he came forward to say he was sexually abused by Dr. Robert Anderson. Thousands of student athletes have also shared stories of abuse at the hands of the now deceased sports doctor.

"One of the hardest things to tell anyone is that I’m a survivor of rape," he said.

MORE: Dr. Anderson abuse survivors criticize school's handling of sex assault reports

Vaughn created a makeshift camp near the home of the university's president's house with plans to remove it this weekend, per an agreement with the city of Ann Arbor. However, the University of Michigan removed the "Hail to the Victims" camp, a play on Michigan's "Hail to the Victors," on Monday.

So, Vaughn returned Saturday, his 52nd birthday, to chain himself to a tree in protest.

"They’re not going to erase who we are, they’re not going to erase this protest," Vaughn said.

Read: Investigation finds UM failed to address reports about doctor who assaulted hundreds

Vaughn said he was on Ann Arbor property, not university property, so the school didn't have a right to remove his camp. The school said in a statement Monday that Vaughn's items they removed were in storage.

A line on the ground showed the university side and the Ann Arbor side as Vaughn sat in the freezing cold telling his story.

"I am no longer that scared, naive 18-year-old whose mother has breast cancer, that subjected himself to 50 prostate exams, essentially rapes, before I turned 20," he said. "You built me for this fight, and you have no idea what I’ve endured to get here and no idea what I will endure to win."

Vaughn planned to spend 16 hours chained to the tree, a minute for each of the more than 1,000 victims of Anderson.