Sexual abuse is swept under the rug in the world we live in. Women are scared to confess their experiences with sexual abuse. Sexual abuse could break a family’s loyalty if a step dad, uncle or grandfather sexual abused a young girl. In the sport world, a disturbing secret has been revealed. It is being called one of the biggest sexual abuse scandals in sports history.
For 160 women, the man who sexually abused them is finally being put behind bars. Larry Nassar worked as team doctor for the USA gymnastics team and worked at Michigan State University as a doctor. Nassar was lauded as a must-see doctor for the United States’ best gymnasts. He plead guilty to ten counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct will now spend the rest of his life in person.
Before he was put behind bars, the women he abused confronted him. “Larry is the most dangerous type of abuser. One who is capable of manipulating his victims through coldly calculated grooming methodologies, presenting the most wholesome and caring external persona as a deliberate means to ensure a steady stream of young children to assault,” gymnast Rachael Denhollander said, according to New York Times.
The New York Times also reported Michigan State student Amanda Thomashow said, “I reported it. 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.”
Nassar could have been stopped but why wasn’t he? Michigan State and the USA Gymnastics ignored two decades of abuse. How was this man able to give “pelvic exams” in their hotel or dorm beds at night, wholly unsupervised? This story show how much of a problem sexual abuse is. It is always shocking to see how long sexual abuse is covered up. We need to handle sexual abuse differently. Action needs to be taken when the first accuser says she has been abused. Is winning gold medals more important than morals? These intuitions should have been protecting these young women. We should never value performance over protection.