Don't bother to tell anyone, because "Nobody will believe you."

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?”


They don’t believe us because they don’t want to. For us to be telling the truth means too much of the world they have believed in for years must now change.


Kywrite That's surely true sometimes, but as with Clarence Thomas it's also true that some women like Anita Hill aren't so virtuous and have other motives (e.g. $ & power).

This story isn't about women you don't know accusing famous men of something. This story is about young girls telling THEIR OWN PARENTS they have been abused and their parents not believing them. What would you do if your daughter told you she didn't want to be alone with a teacher, family friend or grandpa? When your wife talks about a creepy co-worker, do you tell her she's overreacting? If a woman you know comes to you to report a story like this, do you believe HER? The reason monsters like Dr. Nassar are allowed to operate for years is that too many good and decent people enable them by refusing to believe what's happening. Because as Kywrite said, it mean believing something they don't want to confront.


Too many parents today live vicariously through their children. Dad wasn't good enough to play baseball so little Bobbie will play instead. Mom wanted to be a movie star or dance, so little Sally will be. Then something goes wrong, the child comes to them with stories like that above and they refuse to believe it. Not because they think their kids are lying but because it destroys the parents dream. Then when things get totally out of hand and the child destroys himself with drugs or suicide the parents blame the coach or director etc, because it's easier than blaming themselves.

What kind of mother is Rebecca Mark's? How could she not see from inside the room? This is amazing.

Many parents don't know because their children don't tell them. We teach our children about sex, but are we doing a good job of telling them about sexual predators, and how to know a sexual predator? How can a child know the difference between good and evil, much less tell their parents about the evil that is happening to them, if they don't understand what is evil.

The question you pose is the right one, to be sure. Part of the reason, I think we don't believe them is, to quote House, "people lie." And, they lie for a whole variety of reasons, none of which are legitimate.

And, again, I hit the wrong key. The other reason we don't believe them, is because we want the adulation that comes to our chil'ren. Yes, our chil'ren, not to us. Many people tend to live through their chil'ren. Ain't right, but it is what it is.

We should always believe, and then investigate. If it turns out to be false, there are consequences for that (or should be). If it's correct there are also consequences to the villain for that as well. And our chil'ren know then, they're loved and to be believed.

@Merrie_Soltis : I would say the parents' disbelief stems not from any malice or indifference on their part but more a lack of credible evidence, the incredulous of the charge and the sheer audacity of the culprit. I realize this is an emotional subject but what, exactly, is being argued for here? Am I supposed to believe any accusation made? Because that seems just as bad as not believing every accusation.

Jack Krevin I am not arguing that you should believe every wild accusation. And you're under no obligation to believe women you don't know accusing a famous man of a crime. I'm begging all parents to realize that there are evil predators out there. They are very good liars. They are charming - which is how they worm their way into your life. When I was a child, my parents' default setting was "the adult is always right." Teacher was mean to you? Your fault. Friend's parent gives you the creeps? You have to respect them because they're adults. Had something horrendous like this happened to me, I would have had a very hard time convincing them of it. Especially if the perpetrator was a minister, teacher, doctor or some other authority figure.

Remember the Dennis Hastert story? Dude had a LOUNGE CHAIR in the boys shower room so that he could watch them. You think not one kid in all that time told his parents that gave him the creeps?

Merrie Soltis: You appear to be arguing cross-purposes. You claim you are not arguing I need to believe every "wild accusation" but yet seem to advocate a child should be believed without question against a seeming normal, respected adult without apparently any evidence or even an allegation of actual crime. Repeatedly you seem to imply simply being "creepy" is sufficient. A vague, emotional and subjective word. The simple truth of the matter is people, kids and adults, lie. To get out of trouble, to get back at people or for any other perceived advantage. This doesn't change regardless of my own personal feelings for the alleged victim, of which we need to be as clinical and detached as possible to try and remain objective.

I can certainly appreciate your sympathy for these girls. This is a nasty business. But, however imperfect, I think things have to be dealt on a case by case basis rather than with the blanket assertion you appear to be arguing for.