The abuse went on for years. They told their parents. They told the university. They told
USA Gymnastics. Nobody believed them.
For months now, we’ve listened to stunning allegations from
harassment to assault leveled at celebrities and politicians. With each new story
the question arises again: Why didn’t they say anything until now?
Today, sentencing began in the trial of former US Olympics
gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar has already pleaded guilty to seven
charges of sexual assault. He was sentenced in December to 60 years in federal
prison on child pornography charges. 88 women and girls are scheduled to give
victim’s impact statements in court this week. 140 women are currently suing
Dr. Nassar in civil court over sexual abuse allegations.
Numbers like that are just staggering. Even more unbelievable
are the words of Nassar’s victims. Many have chosen to identify themselves even
though they are allowed by law to remain anonymous.
Kyle Stevens told her parents that Nassar had abused her.
They didn’t believe her. Today she addressed him in court. "Little girls don't stay little forever.
They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world."
Her father committed
suicide after he realized she had been telling the truth.
Rebecca Mark said that Nassar molested her while her mother
was in the room during her exam.
Chelsey Markham told her mother the same thing. Her mother
didn’t believe her. Today, Donna Markham testified on behalf of her daughter –
who committed suicide at the age of 23. "Every day I miss her. Every day. And it all started with him. It all started with him, and it just became worse as the years went by until she just couldn't deal with it anymore,"
The victims list is endless. It includes some of the biggest
names in US women’s gymnastics. Aly Raisman said she can’t bear to be in the
same room with Nassar. Her impact statement will be read in court for her.
Simone Biles also alleges that Nassar abused her.
Maybe you’ve asked yourself this question before. “Why didn’t
she say something. Why did she wait so long. Why is she coming forward NOW?”
But sometimes, the victims DO say something. To people that
they love and trust.
So, maybe the question we should all ask ourselves is “Why
didn’t we believe them?”