Many young gymnasts looked up to Dr. Larry G. Nassar as an important person in their career. However, many of these same girls have recently come out to accuse Larry Nassar of sexual assault. They said that they saw Nassar as a trustworthy figure, and he abused this power.
“It wasn’t until I started seeing other doctors and athletic trainers that I began to realize that their methods were far different from Larry’s,” Aly Raisman, a survivor, said in her book, “Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything”.
Raisman, a two-time Olympian who has won six Olympic medals, stated that Nassar started the abuse when she was just 15 years old. She was brainwashed into thinking that what Nassar was doing was OK. She read a 13-minute long statement, later published by Vox (among other media outlets), criticizing Nassar and explaining his wrongdoings at his trial.
“Larry, you do realize now that we, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force and you are nothing. The tables have turned, Larry,” Raisman said. “We are here. We have our voices, and we are not going anywhere. And now, Larry, it’s your turn to listen to me. The effects of your actions are far reaching. Abuse goes way beyond the moment, often haunting survivors for the rest of their lives, making it difficult to trust and impacting their relationships.”
Not only did Raisman criticize Nassar, but she also criticized the Olympic committee that allowed the ongoing abuse.
“Neither USA Gymnastics nor the United States Olympic Committee have reached out to express sympathy or even offer support. Not even to ask ‘how did this happen?’” Raisman said, “What do you think we can do to help? Why have I and others here probably not heard anything from the leadership from the United States Olympic Committee? Why has the United States Olympic Committee been silent? Why isn’t the United States Olympic Committee here right now?”
Nassar’s crimes have already been committed; however, we can prevent similar situations from occuring by learning from this and listening carefully to everyone who was affected.