January 26, 2018
By Michael Dolce
Survivors reported Nassar’s abuse to coaches, trainers, parents, therapists, a training facility owner, and even law enforcement officials – but all in vain
It is tragically ironic that in the same month we applauded the courageous young survivors confronting Larry Nassar in court for his horrific abuse, we also celebrated the wisdom and legacy of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. One of King’s great lessons was that justice can be hindered by “the appalling silence of the good people”.
Indeed, so many survivors of Larry Nassar’s atrocious acts asked one question time and time again: why was he not stopped sooner by the good people who had reason to know of his crimes?
Gymnast Larissa Boyce, runner Christine Achenbach and softball player Tiffany Lopez all recounted their complaints to otherwise “good” people at Michigan State University about Nassar between 1997 and 2000, many years before his relentless abuse of children was stopped.
[Play Video 2:14: Judge tells Larry Nassar ‘I just signed your death warrant’]
They and many other survivors reported Nassar’s abuse for many years to coaches, trainers, parents, therapists, a training facility owner and even law enforcement officials – but all in vain. Common among the complaints of these survivors is that they were not believed and were silenced, while Nassar continued to attack child after child after child. These survivors’ stories are all too common – in cases that make the news and those that do not.
I have represented child sex abuse victims as a lawyer for many years and in virtually every case the survivor takes a huge risk in speaking up at all. I repeatedly see child sex abuse survivors, just like most adult sex crime victims, disbelieved by numerous people – especially those who were in positions of power to stop the abuse in the first place.
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