Larry Nassar and how to be the first to speak out.
I think all of us have seen some of the videos over the past couple of weeks of the more than 150 victim impact statements of the women gymnasts who stood up against Larry Nassar. It was an avalanche of honesty from these exceptional women about what they have struggled through and overcome.
In case you don’t know about this for some reason, Larry Nassar was the doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, and he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing girl gymnasts. He was sentenced to 175 years in prison, and Judge Rosemarie Aquilina called it her “great pleasure” to sentence him.
Some criticized Judge Aquilina for allowing the victims to make impact statements, which is so interesting because making an impact statement is usually one of the only rights a victim has in a criminal proceeding, and it is a crucial right. Judge Aquilina, to my understanding, would have actually had to violate the victims’ rights to keep them from speaking. And, yet, some sided with Nassar, saying it was excessive for him to have to listen to the women he abused talk. If that doesn’t show the power of talking about abuse, I don’t know what does! Although I believe Judge Aquilina was legally required to let the victims give impact statements, the respect she gave to the women making statements is something I truly admire.