Natalia Lusinski
December 09, 2017 8:02 am
Emmanuel Dunand / AFP / Getty Images

Justice is being served. On December 7th, Larry Nassar, the gymnastics doctor who sexually abused patients, was sentenced to 60 years in prison on child pornography charges. He molested young gymnasts for decades, including Olympic gold medal winner Aly Raisman. Raisman penned a powerful letter about Nassar, but she wasn’t allowed to read it in court. So she published it online instead.

Raisman was among other Team USA Olympic gymnasts to speak out about being sexually abused by Nassar, the former team doctor. Olympians Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney also spoke out about his abusive conduct. And, overall, in civil and criminal complaints, Nassar has been accused of assaulting more than 140 women. We feel sick.

Raisman wrote her letter to Nassar before he was sentenced, but she did not get the chance to read it in court. So she turned to The Players’ Tribune, a site where athletes can share personal stories and connect with their fans. Her essay, titled “This Is Survival,” was published on December 7th. And it’s extremely powerful. First, she discusses what it’s like to be a survivor of sexual abuse. Then, she reveals the letter she was prepared to read in court.

Both Raisman and The Players’ Tribune tweeted the post. Then it was retweeted, and retweeted, and retweeted by many others. With the power of social media, we hope many people read it, whether they’re a victim of sexual abuse or they want to better understand just how lasting the effects of sexual abuse are on somebody’s life.

Here’s Raisman’s tweet with a link to her essay and letter to Nassar.

Here’s The Players’ Tribune’s tweet too.

We’re in awe of Raisman’s powerful words and her bravery to share her story. Her essay and letter are heartbreaking but so important to read. Here are some lines that stuck with us from her essay, which is a preface to the letter.

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As for Raisman’s letter to Nassar, it, too, has had a lasting effect on us. In part, it reads:

You can read Raisman’s essay and letter in their entirety here. Of course, Raisman was a champion to us before. And now she’s an even bigger one for her bravery. We are so glad that survivors like Raisman are continuing to speak out. Stay strong.