Days after she got dragged for suggesting that women can protect themselves from rape by dressing modestly, Gabby Douglas admitted that she is a victim of sexual abuse
On Tuesday, she declared on social media that former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, the same person that allegedly raped her Olympic teammate, Aly Raisman, assaulted her as well.
“I didn’t view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you,” the gold medalist wrote. “It would be like saying that because of the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar.
She added: “I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful. I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them.”
“I understand that many of you didn’t know what I was dealing with, but it is important to me that you at least know this. I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form! I will also never support attacking or bullying anyone on social media or anywhere else.
“Please forgive me for not being ore responsible with how I handled the situation. To every other individual that commented to or about me hatefully, I apologize that I let you down too. I will never stop promoting unity, positivity, strength, being courageous and doing good instead of evil. I have learned from this and I’m determined to be even better.”
Twitter swiftly reacted to this news:
Looks like Gabby Douglas did what many survivors of sexual assault have been known to do–internalize their abuse. That's why so many of us were so hesitant to dog her last week.
— Chris Courtney Martin wants you to watch Mudbound (@DaRealChrisCo) November 21, 2017
As we previously reported, Douglas caught some serious heat last week for suggesting that women need to cover up in order to avoid being raped. She has since apologized for statements.
More than 130 women, many of them former athletes, have accused Nassar, who is currently in prison, of sexual assault,PEOPLE noted. Nassar faces 33 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Michigan and is currently scheduled to be sentenced in federal court on Dec. 7.
Whether you are still upset with Gabby for her prior victim-blaming comments, please recognize that coming forward with her own allegations must have not been easy to do. So let’s send Gabby all the love and light we can.