No longer a bystander: stand up to sex crimes
On Jan. 24, Larry Nassar, former USA Gymnastics national team osteopathic physician, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after over 150 women accused him of sexually abusing them. After he serves the 60-year sentence for child pornography.
This is one of the biggest and disturbing sexual abuse scandals in sports history.
According to Attorney General Bill Schuette, the assaults have been traced all the way back to 1998, with victims just 6-years-old. To make the case even more disturbing, it appears that adults all around Nassar have been enabling these actions for years.
USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, where Nassar was a faculty member, have been accused of enabling his predatory behaviors for nearly a quarter of a century by paying victims to keep quiet about their assault.
USA Gymnastics has been accused of covering up the sexual abuse by paying McKayla Maroney $1.25 million to sign a non-disclousure agreement.
As if things were not bad enough, information recently leaked revealing that 144 Michigan State University athletes have come forward about being sexually assaulted by Nassar.
Worst of all, former MSU gymnastics coach, Kathie Klages, has also been accused of pressuring victims of the assaults to stay silent and has been aware of allegations against Nassar as early as 1997.
Similar allegations regarding students and players have been seen across other sports, such as men’s basketball and football players, since as early as 2007.
It’s an undeniable fact that sexual assault is something that has been given more attention recently with movements such as #MeToo and #Time’sUp.
While the crime itself may not be on the rise, the media attention being given to it and the women speaking up against their perpetrators has been a developing.
A painful statistic, according to www.itsonus.org, is only 20 percent of female student victims of sexual assault, ages 18-24, report their cases to law enforcement.
Action needs to be taken on such an epidemic. We can only lock up so many predators and only for so long. Everything has its limit, and there comes a point when action needs to be taken.
We need to teach younger generations how to combat sexual abuse and how to not be a bystander or be an enabler in these situations.
This case is a prime example of what can happen when we hush horrific cases and don’t face what is truly happening in our country.Stand to make a change.