Aly Raisman Declares Herself a 'Survivor' As She Speaks About the Doctor Who Allegedly Abused Her
Aly Raisman is stronger than ever after coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse by a former gymnastics doctor
Aly Raisman is stronger than ever after coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse by a former gymnastics doctor.
The Olympic gold medalist, 23, spoke at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards Friday night in New York City and addressed the abuse she allegedly endured at the hands of Larry Nassar.
“Most people know me as a gymnast,” Raisman began, “but I am also a survivor. I am among a huge number of young gymnasts abused by US Olympic and USA Gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar.”
“This man held a position of influence and power in the sport for more than 20 years,” she continued. “The extent of harm he caused is beyond comprehension. More than 130 young women have filed lawsuits alleging abuse by Nassar and we may never know how many others may be suffering in silence.”
She added, “I stand here for all of them.”
Nassar is in jail now, facing several charges related to the alleged abuse. In July, he pleaded guilty to three child pornography charges in federal court, ABC News reported via ESPN. In exchange for Nassar’s guilty plea, U.S. prosecutors have agreed not to pursue charges in two additional incidents of alleged sexual crimes with minors. He is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Dec. 7, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Lawyers for Nassar declined PEOPLE’s request for comment.
WATCH: Aly Raisman Says She Was Sexually Abused by Former Team USA Gymnastics Doctor: ‘I’m Angry’
Raisman continued her speech, saying, “I am beyond disgusted that a decorated Olympic and USA Gymnastics doctor was able to prey upon so many over such a long period of time; and until we fully understand the flaws in the system that allowed this to happen in the first place — and enabled it to continue for decades — we can’t be confident it won’t happen again.”
“I am determined to work towards real and meaningful change,” she added.
In a statement Sunday, Team USA Gymnastics said in part: “We are appalled by the conduct of which Larry Nassar is accused, and we are very sorry that any athlete has been harmed during her or his gymnastics career.
“Aly’s passion and concern for athlete safety is shared by USA Gymnastics. Our athletes are our priority, and we are committed to promoting an environment of empowerment that encourages speaking up, especially on difficult topics like abuse, as well the protection of athletes at all levels throughout our gymnastics community.
RELATED VIDEO: Aly Raisman on Sexual Assault and Young Women
“We are hard at work to strengthen that commitment by: adopting the USA Gymnastics Safe Sport Policy; hiring a new president and chief executive officer who emphasizes empowerment throughout the organization; building a safe sport department that is developing a comprehensive education plan for members; and creating an implementation plan for the recommendations made by an experienced, former federal prosecutor who carefully examined the organization’s past policies.”
The statement concluded: “We are committed to doing what is right, and we want to work with Aly and all interested athletes to keep athletes safe.”
The athlete, who hopes to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, told PEOPLE recently that “the last few months have not been easy for me.”
“There have been some days where I feel so much anxiety and I feel sick,” she said. “I’ve never really had that before. It’s just nerve wracking because you don’t know how people are going to react.”
“I want to create change,” she adds. “No one deserves to be hurt or taken advantage of.”