Child Abuse

Aly Raisman Is the Latest Gymnast to Come Forward About Being Sexually Abused

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In an interview with 60 Minutes, Aly Raisman opened up about the sexual abuse she says she endured at the hands of Dr. Larry Nassar. Aly is a 3-time Olympic gold-medalist in gymnastics, and was the Team USA captain of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams. Her heartbreaking story is one of many alleging Nassar abused them under the guise of “medical treatment”. Nassar pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in July, and faces 22 to 27 years in in prison. His sentencing is schedule for next month. He also faces 33 charges of criminal sexual misconduct in Michigan, where he worked at Michigan State University. Nassar was the team doctor for USA Gymnastics for nearly 20 years.

USA Gymnastics interviewed Aly Raisman in 2015, as part of an investigation into his conduct. Aly told an investigator, “his touching makes me uncomfortable but he’s so nice to me and I don’t think he does it on purpose because I think he cares about me.”

aly raisman

Image: Facebook/Mariya Aston

Aly says it was after the interview with the investigator that she realized Nassar abused her. Says Aly, “It impacts you for the rest of your life.” She believed she was being treated by one of the best doctors in the country. The organization told Aly and others that they were lucky to be treated by him. Consequently, girls were afraid to come forward with their stories.

Aly’s story mirrors many others that have come out about Nassar. McKayla Maroney also spoke out about being abused by the former team doctor. She shared a post on Twitter with the #MeToo campaign.

USA Gymnastics has a long standing policy that adults should not be alone with minors. However, Nassar routinely “treated” athletes alone in hotel rooms. As a result, he had unfettered access to his victims for years.

Of course, because people are generally trash, people are asking why Aly and others didn’t come forward sooner. Obviously, victim shaming and blaming is the first line of defense. Aly says focusing on why the girls didn’t speak up is counterproductive. The focus should be on the culture of the sport, and asking why USA Gymnastics didn’t do more to protect these kids.

We’re very proud of Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and all the other athletes who’ve found the strength to come forward. In a culture that blames victims for their own abuse and questions their motives before those of the abuser, doing so takes immense courage. At this point, the flood gates have opened. People are calling out rape culture and abuse where it runs rampant. Ultimately, flushing these monsters out means they can’t hurt anyone else.

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(Image: Facebook / Deranged Radio!)