Aly Raisman on the 'Power' of Supporting Those Who've Been Abused: 'Most Survivors Don't Get That'
Aly Raisman is reflecting on the "power" of the support she's received while processing and publicly recounting the sexual abuse she suffered as a teenager during her time with USA Gymnastics.
The six-time Olympic medalist, 27, made a virtual appearance on The Daily Show Monday where she discussed her healing with host Trevor Noah.
Raisman said that because she has been dealing with her abuse in the public eye as she also tries to process it on her own, occasionally it "feels like an open wound that won't heal." However, the gymnast admitted that she heals through the support she gets, which "helps me get out of bed on the toughest days."
"When I first shared my story publicly, I never imagined all the support that I would get and I'm continually blown away by the support that myself, my teammates and fellow survivors, the support that we get," Raisman told Noah.
"Abuse isn't something that you just suffer in the moment. It, unfortunately, can carry on with you for a really long time. And a way a survivor heals is linked in how their abuse is handled," she added.
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In January 2018, Larry Nassar, who was the former doctor for USA Gymnastics (USAG), was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison, after more than 150 women and girls claimed he sexually abused them over a 20-year span.
Last week, Raisman, who was joined by Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney and Maggie Nichols on a panel, spoke to senators calling for an investigation into the FBI, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and USA Gymnastics and their handling of the investigation.
During the interview with Noah, Raisman noted that despite all she's been through, she feels "lucky" to have so many people in her corner and explained the impact a support system can have for a survivor.
"The power of one adult supporting a survivor and doing the right thing is so important," she said. "So I think our case has been so public and while I'm so grateful for the support that we have, from people all over the world, the organizations and people in positions of power continue to cover it up, gaslight us and treat us so horribly."
She continued, "So I am trying now in my everyday moments to focus on the support that I feel from strangers and people in my family because I know that most survivors don't get the support that I get."
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Since retiring from gymnastics, Raisman has been an advocate for mental health and a voice for other survivors. Earlier this year, she told CBS This Morning that "healing is not one-size-fits-all" as she works on focusing on her wellbeing.
"I'm sure anyone who's watching who can relate to experiencing some type of trauma or anxiety, can recognize just how exhausting it can be," Raisman said back in April. "So I've learned the importance of taking time for myself each day and prioritizing my mental health."
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.