It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Someone who they not only trusted but left their children under their complete care, control, and professional abilities, with the thought, that they had nothing to worry about, had gone and did just that. Violated their trust, their commitment to the safety of those who they are responsible for and the respect of their profession.
Unfortunately, this ex-USA gymnastics doctor violated more than that. Recently, Dr. Larry Nassar has been charged and pleads guilty to multiple accounts of sexual assault. The doctor faces a minimum of 25 years in prison if convicted.
The Names Speaking Out
Dr. Nassar also worked not only with the U.S. Gymnastics Team, with names like Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and McKayla Maroney, who are taking part in the suit to provide evidence and publicly have affirmed they were also victims of the doctor but also worked as an associate professor at Michigan State University.
He is being charged with seven accounts of molestation, from those seven, six of which were gymnasts. The six out of seven accounts are accused to have taken place while the girls were under his care at not only the campus clinic but also his home in Lansing.
The accusers state that they had been molested under the impression that they were receiving treatment for their injuries. The incidents even took place when their parents were present in the room.
This guilty plead is followed by lawsuits and charges from a county beside his hometown called Ingham, filed by over 125 females. They are calling for a sentence of the minimum being 25 years in prison but can have a maximum of 40 years. This would mean that Nassar would be able to be up for parole after serving a minimum of his 25 years.
His Other Crimes
That‘s not all. Nassar is also charged with crimes of the same understanding in Eaton County, where he worked in a club hosting elite gymnasts and elite sports. The doctor‘s charges don’t stop there. He is also being charged with accounts regarding child pornography and is waiting to be sentenced in federal court.
The counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct were seen to have started even from when the victims were as young as 13 years old. The abuse carried on from their career as teens to the London Games in 2012.
Attention has been surrounding the “Me Too” campaign, in which women are coming forward in waves to tell their stories of sexual harassment or assault.
The “Me Too” campaign was created over ten years ago by Tarana Burke, to help victims of sexual abuse connected to one another as a grass-roots movement.
Though Burke says that the movement wasn’t built to just be an encompassing hashtag going viral for the moment, she realizes how big of an impact it has been having on recent times.
She gives major props to those who have been coming out and going viral using the hashtag because it takes immense courage and has been a kickstart for a powerful movement giving others the courage to come out with their stories as well.
Those like Gabby Douglas have been prominent figures because of their careers, but also because of their bravery of stepping out and telling their own stories. This movement looks like it is going to begin a powerful mark in history where those who have been victims of such abuse are beginning to stand up and speak out.
The guilty plea of Dr. Nassar is only a ripple in the history of those who are standing out and seeking justice for something that has happened to them. Finally, someone accused is facing the punishment for the crimes they have accusingly committed, especially when it is such an overwhelming number of victims.
Sharing your story is not an easy feat to accomplish. It is not simple. It comes with consequences, it comes with the fear of the unknown, and it comes with the possibility of being questioned about the one thing you don’t want to relive.
Please feel free to share this story, therefore sharing the story of many others and spreading the word so that others have the courage to spread their story too. You can also comment and give those speaking out words of encouragement, acceptance, and assurance that they are going to be met with kind words and open hearts as well. If you feel brave enough, you can feel free to share your story too. We hope that by raising awareness, showing that others are not alone, we can not only rid this place of these terrible actions, but give those who are suffering a place to feel belonging, welcome, and make sure that they don‘t feel alone.
Unfortunately, sometimes it takes someone pleading or being found guilty to give others the courage to speak out. Sometimes, it takes just one person to speak out, and others may follow.