Last week, To Save A Life shared a story about Team USA women’s gymnastics champion, Aly Raisman, who echoed her former teammate McKayla Maroney last week with sexual allegations towards former Team USA doctor, Larry Nassar.
In a Monday interview with TODAY’s Megyn Kelly, Raisman speaks openly about the sexual abuse, which started when she was 15, saying “I didn’t know it was abuse.”
In her youthfulness, Raisman admits she trusted the fact that Nassar was a doctor and simply didn’t question his motives because she had no reason to think he was breaking any rules.
Kelly spoke into Raisman’s experience, emphasizing the fact that Nassar was able to get away with sexual misconduct on so many accounts because of the way he intentionally groomed his victims.
“A lot of these monsters,” Raisman says, “they’re master manipulators. They make you believe that they’re your friend, that they care about you, so you feel guilty,” essentially questioning their motives and actions.
Raisman also jumped to the defense of the millions of victims around the world who are criminalized for speaking out, saying it’s everyone’s own decision as to whether or not they come forward, and when they choose to do so. She’s passionate about defending these victims, as she’s been highly criticized for waiting years to expose Nassar’s crimes.
All we are asked to do as third-party viewers to the reports is support victims in their courage and bravery to take a stand against their abusers.
“Why are we looking at why didn’t the girls speak up?” said Raisman in an earlier interview. “Why not look at what about the culture? What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?”
Nasser has been sexually abusing young girls and women under the guise of medical practice for over 30 years. Raisman says she believes USA Gymnastics did not take the allegations seriously enough that this man was able to continue his grooming and abuse for decades.
“Their priority was keeping it quiet instead of helping,” she tells Kelly.
Now Aly’s speaking out, in hopes of empowering other survivors who may not have known they were victims of abuse, like herself, in seeking justice, and healing.