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The aftermath of the Nassar trial

These past few weeks have been extremely empowering for women everywhere. From the Women’s Marches, where women stood in solidarity with one another and heard the most incredible speeches, to the Dr. Larry Nassar trial, where some brave survivors testified against him for his sexual harassment and molestation of over 150 women through both the United States Gymnastic Team and Michigan State University.
Dr. Nassar abused his position as a doctor by using mandatory treatment sessions to molest these young women. Many of the girls tried to report what was happening, but no one believed them because he was a doctor who was, supposedly, doing his job. Because of this, he got away with this abuse for too many years. One of the girl’s father killed himself when the news broke for not believing his daughter. Additionally, the credibility of Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee is currently being called under question, with many wondering how it could be possible for no one to know what was going on.
For over seven days, survivor after survivor spoke out and told their stories, all emotional and impactful. Probably the one of the most well known speeches was given by two time Olympian and gold medalist Aly Raisman, saying, “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.” Later, in response to a letter Nassar wrote asking to be excused from some of the days of victim statements because he could not “mentally” deal with it, she said “ are pathetic to think that anyone would have any sympathy for you. You think this is hard for you? Imagine how all of us feel.”
Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to 40-175 years in prison, according to CNN, saying “I’ve just signed your death warrant.” And this is on top of the time he was given on child pornography charges.
Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee need to take responsibility here. A doctor they hired and promoted abused and assaulted so many under their watch. Whether they knew about it or not, which is certainly a valid question, they need to take responsibility more than just saying that the various impact statements spoke to them. These organizations were responsible for the athletes. They were supposed to protect them and keep them safe, and they failed miserably. They gave this monster, who still has shown no true remorse for his actions, a gateway. And by brushing off the stories of these girls when they originally reported abuse, makes them culpable. Like Raisman said, “…both USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee have been very quick to capitalize and celebrate my success. But did they reach out when I came forward? No.” 

156 victims spoke over seven days. Here are quotes from just some of these powerful statements:
“My vagina was sore during my competition because of this man. How disgusting is that to even say out loud?” – Amy Labadie, gymnast
“I thought that training for the Olympics would be the hardest thing that I would ever have to do. But, in fact, the hardest thing I would ever have to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar.” – Jordyn Wieber, Olympic gymnast and medalist
“Michigan State University, the school I loved and trusted, had the audacity to tell me that I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure.” – Amanda Thomashow, Michigan State student
“Larry, my coaches and U.S.A. Gymnastics turned the sport I fell in love with as a kid into my personal living hell.” – Mattie Larson, gymnast and world championships medalist 
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