Below are quotes addressing the harm caused to sexual assault survivors by enablers.
As told to ESPN
“They want to protect the integrity of the programs; don’t want scandal, don’t want sexual assault allegations or domestic violence allegations. Most of the time when it involved athletes, it would be dealt with in-house. None of it was transparent, it was very insulated, and people were, a lot of times, discouraged from seeking resources outside of the athletic department. I think that the athletic department wanted to keep control over that information...It was more about the image and the reputation and the success of the program than it was about ending violence and making it a priority.”
—Lauren Allswede, former Michigan State University sexual assault counselor
“Once I wasn’t able to play anymore, and having to go through what I went through and no one believing me and no one listening to me, I couldn’t look at them. I felt like they thought I was a liar, that this really didn’t happen to me, and I detached myself from everything. I allowed the athletic trainers to silence me, to not allow me to share the truth. And I’m sure until the day I die I’ll have this guilt. They need to answer for what they did to me. And they did nothing to help me. They did nothing. They had an opportunity to listen, to do something, to act, and they chose to stay quiet.”
—Tiffany Thomas-Lopez, Michigan State University Softball Player/Larry Nassar Survivor
The following quotes are taken from victim impact statements/public testimony.
“Over those 30 years when survivors came forward, adult after adult, many in positions of authority, protected you, telling each survivor it was okay, that you weren’t abusing them. In fact, many adults had you convince the survivors that they were being dramatic or had been mistaken. This is like being violated all over again.”
“I was broken. Larry, my coaches, and USA Gymnastics turned the sport I fell in love with as a kid into my personal living hell. The complete detachment from the outside world, on top of careless and neglectful adults, made the ranch the perfect environment for abusers and molesters to thrive…. I recently learned that Michigan State received repeated reports beginning in 1998 from numerous girls and women alleging Larry sexually assaulted them. If the right thing was done then, 20 years ago, I should’ve never met this sad excuse for a man. I was extremely disappointed to find out about this news. I’ve also learned that from 2014 to 2016, Larry was under criminal investigation for molesting young girls and women. President [Lou Anna] Simon, you didn’t call, you didn’t notify USAG. You and Michigan State let him go to the ranch and attend international competitions. There he molested my friends and my teammates. How could you? What’s wrong with you? Have you no decency, ma’am? Marta, did you keep Larry around because he was a good doctor, or did you really keep him around because he let us compete when we were injured, and was willing to keep your secrets?”
—Mattie Larson, U.S. Gymnast/Larry Nassar Survivor
“To those at MSU, USAG, and the USOC who knew about Larry Nassar but did not act, the sin of omission is just as bad as the sin itself. As if dealing with the intense publicity and pain around Nassar wasn’t enough, you have added a heartless, depraved level of denial and victim shaming to the mix.”
—Megan Halicek, U.S. Gymnast/Larry Nassar Survivor
“Michigan State University, the school I loved and trusted, had the audacity to tell me that I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure. That master manipulator took advantage of his title, he abused me, and when I found the strength to talk about what had happened, I was ignored and my voice was silenced. I spent years trying to get over what happened that day, and the damage the investigation did to my life.”
—Amanda Thomashow, Larry Nassar Survivor
“I told somebody. I told an adult. I told MSU back in 1997. Instead of being protected, I was humiliated, I was in trouble, and brainwashed into believing that I was the problem. This MSU employee then fed me back to you, the wolf, to continue to be devoured. Instead of taking the right steps to report my concerns, she betrayed my confidence.”
—Larissa Boyce, U.S. Gymnast/Larry Nassar Survivor