Democrats and Republicans finally agree on something!! Sexual assault of child athletes is real, wrong, and must be addressed now!
Four courageous female athletes testified before the US Senate about sexual abuse suffered at the hands of USA Gymnastics national team doctor and how they were failed by the institutions meant to protect them.
Today, September 15, 2021, was the historic day that four courageous, former female athletes, who are now all young women, but who were only little girls when they were sexually assaulted by the USA Gymnastics national team doctor, testified before the United States Senate. Their testimony addressed how the institutions that were designed to protect them; including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, USA Gymnastics and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, had sadly failed the child-assault victims they were entrusted to protect. These institutions, according to the testimony provided, sought to protect the abuser while, at the same time, discounting the effects of the real trauma experienced at the hands of an older male doctor had on each of these young girls.
The debilitating effects of child abuse on its victims
The dynamics of power and control causes many child-victims to initially deny, hide and/or punish themselves for the abuse they’re forced to endure. The alleged abuser in this case was a powerful and influential individual each of these little girls had been told they could both trust and respect. One of the female athletes described the effects of the betrayal and resulting trauma that she went through by detailing how she went from being able to exercise seven hours a day to not being able to even take a ten-minute walk. It was sadly apparent that each of these star athletes and high achieving young girls that testified today will be forever impacted by the heinous betrayal of trust by an adult they were told they could trust. Their bravery in coming forward to testify before the United States Senate will hopefully motivate other young athletes and victims of sexual assault to come forward and be heard and, even more importantly, for our lawmakers and institutions to promptly and effectively address these claims so that all forms of child abuse; sexual or otherwise, can be effectively eradicated.
Reforms must happen “yesterday”
While sexual assault is always horrific, it is particularly reprehensible when committed by a trusted adult against an innocent child. It is accordingly time for action which, hopefully, appears to be the direction that all concerned; from the very conservative Republican to the very liberal Democrat, all agree must happen “yesterday!” Doctors, coaches, teachers, religious leaders, therapists, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, lawyers, and every other person entrusted with caring for our children must understand that alleged acts of sexual assault, especially when the victim was a child, will now be promptly reported, thoroughly investigated, responded to both immediately and on a more long-term basis, and vigorously prosecuted! Our children are our most sacred of trusts and should not be dissuaded from pursuing their passions because those institutions we’ve erected to protect them have, in the past, failed. It is accordingly hoped and anticipated that the promised new legislation will happen, as Senators from each side of the aisle promised at today’s hearing, so that we may learn from our past mistakes and implement real and substantial reforms to protect our most cherished and vulnerable-our children.