Mothers, teach your daughters about sexual abuse

After dozens of people alleged sexual assault against a former physician for the USA Gymnastics team, he has been arrested and charged for his apparently habitual abuse of underage female patients, CNN reported.

Dr. Larry Nassar, 53, worked as a doctor for the Michigan State University gymnastics and crew teams, and for the United States national gymnastics team during four Olympic Games. After his arrest on Monday, he faces three counts of criminal sexual assault against minors under the age of 13.

USA Gymnastics also stands accused of ignoring and even covering up his behavior. Coaches Bela and Marta Karolyi face a lawsuit for having allowed the abuse to continue unchecked…

News of Nassar’s misconduct broke in mid-September, when the Indianapolis Star reported that two women — an Olympic medalist identified in her lawsuit as Jane Doe, and Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast Nassar treated at Michigan State University — had accused the doctor of having sexually abused them. After the Indianapolis Star published its story, the number of victims who came forward climbed to over 30.

Denhollander told the Indianapolis Star that she began seeing Nassar in 2000 as a 15-year-old. He treated her for lower back pain, his actions becoming more inappropriate over the course of five appointments, she said. He groped her breasts and her genitals, and also digitally penetrated her vagina and anus, according to Denhollander.

According to NBC, Nassar’s lawyers maintain that any vaginal penetration by Nassar was in line with osteopathic practice…

No, no, no. There is no pain treatment that includes vaginal or anal penetration. None. Zero. Zilch.

Mothers, please teach your daughters about inappropriate touching and what constitutes sexual abuse, even from a person in authority, like a doctor. I know my mother never talked to me about this subject, and I sure wish she would have.

11 thoughts on “Mothers, teach your daughters about sexual abuse

    • Being prepared means you would’ve known your rights, and that his threat was empty and illegal. That’s not protection, but it’s better than ignorance. Those who abuse know that kids and teenagers are usually too scared to say anything. How do we fix that? It’s got to start with education at an early age.

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      • I guess the fact that on a different occasion, I tried to report a rape and was abused by the police (!) left me feeling/knowing that I had nowhere to turn. Things might be better now for kids who come from stable homes, whose mothers do not throw them out for the crime of having been raped….but the disenfranchised will likely never have real advocacy. The entire issue of what happens to rape kits (they get thrown out, or it takes years to “process” them…so much for live sperm!) speaks volumes about the relative importance of rape survivors in this country. (Not much 😡)

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        • Did we have more advocacy groups in the past? I’m thinking like in the 60s and 70s. Or maybe we have too many and people don’t know who to call. And then you could end up calling some right-to-life group… I don’t think many people trust the police anymore. So, who to tell? Do kids trust their teachers? Hopefully, social media is someone to tell, even if it’s done anonymously.

          I think the most important part of education is to prevent the resulting shame. To place it where it belongs, not with the victim. I’m guessing that as more women come into power, things like rape kits will have more importance. It just looks like it will take longer for women to break the glass ceiling. That’s okay, it’ll be worth the fight. 🙂

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  1. No-one taught me. I’m not sure it would have made a difference given my age when assaulted. It’s a ‘package’. From not being ashamed of our gender, sexuality to the right to say No, be angry, have a voice to being believed, asserting ourselves, expecting more to trusting authority, knowing our rights etc etc. I taught my girls how to ‘spot a pedo’, so to speak, and was highly criticised for it. i did it anyway … and they’ve expanded on that and are able to teach their children how to ‘hold their space’, have a voice, be heard, protect themselves (physically), spot a pedo, trust their gutt and tell someone that is ‘trusted’ (not necessarily authority figure) about anything and everything that concerns them.

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    • Instead of concentrating on teaching girls how to protect themselves against abuse, maybe we should concentrate on giving them worth. Thing is, this society puts worth in things like how much money you can make. What kind of job you have. But it looks like women and men are in the same boat these days when it comes to jobs. Still, a woman’s worth is usually tied into marriage and babies.

      You got it right by teaching your kids about their own space. I see that idea visualized into a protective bubble. Many women are unable to protect their private space, so the first thing is teaching girls that they have a legal right to that private space.

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      • Yeah, you describe that well … think thats what i was getting at … in teaching them worth you teach them they are important, have the right to their space, to say No. And agreed, worth seems to be wrapped up in jobs, careers … marriage and children.
        I’ve been talking to my eldest recently about this … her ‘abuse’ ordeals are starting to re-surface and she’s trying to find an alternative to dealing with it aside form alcohol. In one of our conversations we talked about the whole victim blaming thing … that she had internalised that there must be something wrong with her for the abuser to choose her. I asked her if she’d ever thought about the fact that there was something more innately wrong with the person who committed the crime, and she hadn’t. It was news to her. But she got it … and it seems to have started something re teaching her kids to trust their gutt … know their rights etc.

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        • Shame and blame, creations of male-dominated religions. How wonderful that your daughter finally understood. I think the feeling of being a bad person who deserved such awful treatment is something that’s hard to break through. Maybe it’s also a type of protection for the brain, not yet ready to deal with re-living bad experiences and the painful (but necessary) process of healing.

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        • You know what … the more i go on, the more it becomes quite apparent that male dominated religions have a shitload to answer for!! .. .and yes, a huge breakthrough for her … one I only had recently and she, at the tender age of 29, is coming to grips with … its awesome. She must be ready, to re-live, heal and re-write 🙂 Glad I’m around to see it happening!

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  2. Parents! Parents/guardians teach children about sexual abuse! I dated two guys that experienced the violation of the worst kind for a child and … I just cannot even find the words to express how much my heart hurts knowing there are kids out there who aren’t aware that these “secret things” aren’t normal, okay, healthy… Or that they are not at fault and should not feel dirty… I remember one ex specifically telling me that he just didn’t know how things “worked” when he was hanging out with a father figure because his own was so aloof and he thought that kind of “attention” was how it worked. I am not wording any of this properly- unable to convey how damaging. It’s just vital for all parents to talk to all children about this. My heart just aches for these evil things children go through/adults survived through.

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