I have decided to attach two articles because they each speak on different problems that are relevant to this specific problem. When I first learned about Larry Nassar, I was watching a video of Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentencing him to 175 years. Without context to go with the video, I read a comment about the video that stood out to me, “I wish they would charge murders as seriously.” To hear someone be sentenced to 175 years in prison, it is hard not to have an interest. After searching his name and immediately seeing a reference to sexual abuse, my first thought was that I am glad that someone was getting a more severe punishment for a crime that I felt did not often receive a just punishment.
Upon reading the two articles, I was astonished to read that a medical professional had used his power to manipulate over 150 women. I have always known that sexual assault and abuse were prevalent in the world but to hear detailed stories of abuse that was so obviously hidden, makes me sad, but gives me a renewed sense of confidence for women. People are so unaware of the frequency of sexual abuse and assault and I believe that the bravery of these women is beginning a revolution to towards the ultimate goal of ending this serious problem.
Some significant points that I want to highlight from these articles provide a good perspective of the attitudes towards sexual abuse had by the parties involved in this case. The first comes from the President of Michigan State University, Lou Anna K. Simon who is quoted saying, “As president, it is only natural that I am the focus of this anger.” To me, she omits any fault through this statement and takes no responsibility for the crimes committed under her leadership. Another significant quote, referenced in my title is: “The cost of gold medal pursuit was signing medical policies that stripped athletes of the right to say no to him.” A major reason that the abuse continued for so long was because the women were only allowed to receive medical treatment from Larry Nassar if they wished to compete. As one of the gymnasts says, “He had been doing it for so long, and he had done it to so many of us, that we thought if it was really wrong he wouldn’t be doing it,” she said. “He was the ‘Olympic doctor’ and everyone praised him.” They had no idea what was happening was wrong because similar abuse had been done to each of his patients. To think that no one else had any knowledge that over 150 women were being abused is naive and others agree and are pushing for an investigation into others who were negligent during the decades that Larry Nassar served as a doctor.
A final quote that I wish to end with that stuck with me most comes from Larry Nassar in his letter in which he retracts his guilty plea, claiming that he was forced. He is quoted writing “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” in an attempt to argue that over 150 women, many of whom were children at the time of the abuse, came to him because they enjoyed the methodology of his treatment. All in all, fortunately, the judge saw through the unethical doctors lies and gave him a “death warrant.”