Aly Raisman Slams Victim Shamers in Searing Instagram Post: ‘So Many Survivors Live in Fear’
This article originally appeared on People.com.
Gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman isn’t mincing words when it comes to victim shamers.
Raisman, 23, who recently shared her own story of alleged sexual abuse, spoke out on Instagram about the criticism many women endure after coming forward.
“Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse,” Raisman began. “What is wrong with some of you? AND when a woman dresses sexy it does not give a man the right to sexually abuse her EVER.”
The athlete continued: “Women are allowed to feel sexy and comfortable in their own skin, in fact I encourage you all to wear what you feel good in. I will not put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress, etc. I do not tolerate it. Are we clear? Oh and one more thing. STOP VICTIM SHAMING. It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear.”
Raisman writes about the ordeal in her new book, Fierce, explaining that she was 15 years old when she was first treated by Nassar. She told PEOPLE that, for a long time, she didn’t understand that she was being abused.
“I didn’t think I was being molested. I didn’t know,” Raisman said. “He was a doctor. I never would have thought that a doctor would misuse his power so much.”
In her autobiography, Raisman writes that she became suspicious when she realized Nassar’s methods were different from other doctors and trainers. Soon, she adds, she learned from fellow athletes that they had been abused too.
“I was just so scared and nervous about what people were going to think,” she writes. “I was a textbook victim, brainwashed to believe I was fine.”
More than 100 women, including several former athletes, have accused Nassar of sexual abuse.
He was fired by USA Gymnastics in 2015 after working with the organization since 1986, and had been its national medical coordinator since 1996, The New York Times reported. He was fired from Michigan State last year.
Nassar is in jail now, facing several charges related to the alleged abuse. In July, he pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in federal court, ABC News reported via ESPN. In exchange for Nassar’s guilty plea, U.S. prosecutors have agreed not to pursue charges in two additional incidents of alleged sexual crimes with minors. He is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Dec. 7, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Lawyers for Nassar declined PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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