I first started tracking the Larry Nassar’s case last summer. The story reminded me of my own; the details were all too similar.
Switch out gymnastics doctor for a physical therapist and OBGYN, specializing in chronic illness patients.
Switch out young, vulnerable female athletes with vulnerable, “I’m in the worst health I’ve ever been in” patients.
The abuse of power is there.
The city of Indianapolis covering up abuse cases is there.
Victims being silenced when they sought out help is there.
The statement, “You should feel honored that you are receiving treatment from one of the best….” is there.
USA Gymnastics poor handling of sexual abuse complaints and Indiana’s poor rating in terms of how it protects its patients is there.
So, as I watched Aly Raisman tell her story on 60 Minutes last night, there existed both sadness and hope. Hope that justice may be served. Hope that telling my own story is part of my liberation, but is also part of the liberation of the millions of women around the world who are sexually assaulted. And their liberation is mine. We really need each other as we pick up the pieces and muster up our courage to seek wholeness day after day.
For most of us, the courts are not going to turn in our favor. Many, many criminals still roam free. And yet, women are speaking out and challenging the institutions and questioning the “respectable” positions of power that have gone unchecked for far too long. We are finding our voices–and actually see that they are strong. They are loud and we know exactly what we want to say.
Abuse can happen by anyone. Anywhere. This is wrong. And this must stop.
What I didn’t realize is that Raisman is hoping to be a part of the 2020 Olympic team. When asked if coming forward might jeopardize her chance of making the team, she responded similarly to, “It might. But being honest and coming forward is worth more than any gold medal ever could.”
I think together we are all saying, “Thanks for speaking for you. Thanks for speaking for me.”