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Trigger warning: Sex abuse
Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in jail in 2017 after sexually assaulting hundreds of girls and young women during his time as the team doctor.
Former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who spoke about how the abuse has continued to impact her life.
Multiple U.S. gymnasts are testifying before Congress today about the FBI’s investigation of disgraced former U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar. Nassar was sentenced to 60 years in jail in 2017 after sexually assaulting hundreds of girls and young women during his time as the team doctor.
One of the women who came forward was former Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who spoke about how the abuse has continued to impact her life.
“I personally don't think that people realize how much experiencing this type of abuse is not something one just suffers in the moment,” she said during her testimony. “It carries on with them sometimes for the rest of their lives. For example, being here today is taking everything I have. My main concern is, I hope I have the energy even to just walk out of here. I don't think you realize how much it affects us, how much the PTSD, how much the trauma impacts us. For every survivor it's different.”
Aly, 27, said that sometimes she doesn’t have the energy to stand up in the shower after sharing her story in public.
“I couldn’t go for a ten-minute walk, and this is from someone who competed in two Olympic games,” she said “There are times when I forget what I’m saying. I have no energy, I am 27 and my 80-year-old grandfather has more energy than I do.”
Aly said that she’s “sick” from the trauma she experienced and that it “hits me out of the blue.”
“I often wonder, am I ever going to feel better?” she added.
“I think it's important for people to understand how much, even if we're not crying, how much we are all struggling and how much survivors are suffering, because people often say, ‘Well, why did you just come forward now?’ Because it's terrifying to come forward, the fear of not being believed, but also because it affects us so much,” she said. “Sometimes it's impossible just to say the words out loud.”
Many survivors of sexual assault have spoken out to thank Aly and other gymnasts who have come forward with their testimonies.
I can’t find the words to express my gratitude and appreciation for what you’re doing, Aly. As a survivor I thank you. As a woman I thank you. Thank you for your courage.
— It’s Tiff (@shelikesfacts) September 15, 2021
thank you aly raisman. thank you mckayla maroney. thank you simone biles. thank you maggie nichols. thank you for telling people what it is like to live with trauma. thank you for your bravery. thank you. i stand with you as a survivor of rape and sexual assault. we will be heard
— sophie 🤠🎗 (@sophietexas_) September 15, 2021
As a survivor, this has to be one of the hardest things to watch. As @Aly_Raisman just stated, the pain never goes away. I am over 50 & still suffer from the trauma. These ladies are truly brave. Thank you all. True heros
— YoungGirlGlitter (@EphronZita) September 15, 2021
Aly Raisman talking about how much energy and time dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse is stolen.
Sitting in the shower b/c no energy to stand.
Every trauma survivor understands this.
— WalkingInAustin (@WalkingInAustin) September 15, 2021
Aly Raisman is making me feel heard. Our bodies remember our trauma.
— RedbirdFarmstead (@RacheltheCow) September 15, 2021
All of these women said they know of gymnasts who were abused by Nassar after July 2015, when allegations that he was abusing his patients were brought to the FBI.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are seeking help or would like more information, call the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656-4673 from anywhere in the U.S. Or chat online with a trained RAIIN staff member who can provide you with confidential crisis support.
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