One of the most accomplished gymnasts of all time, Aly Raisman, was the guest of honor at an event in Milwaukee Wednesday to talk to survivors of sexual assault.
The Women’s Center, which helps thousands of sexual assault survivors in the area, held its annual luncheon and invited Raisman to share her story of courage.
Millions watched Raisman win Olympic gold through the years. That grace under pressure was on display again as millions watched her confront Dr. Larry Nassar.
“I would say that, that moment really changed my life because I realized really in that moment that this is bigger than myself,” Raisman said. “Than the gymnastics world. This is everywhere.”
One in four girls and one in six boys are survivors of sexual abuse before the age of 18/ A statistic recorded before the “Me Too” Movement.
“At the market, at the mall, wherever I am, I always have people come up to me and share their stories about being a survivor and it is really alarming how many people are survivors of sexual abuse,” Raisman said. “And those are just people who feel comfortable sharing their story.”
Among the people who sent a letter to Raisman are victims of Racine County Coach James Kivisto, who admitted last month to secretly recording girls in the locker room at his Wind Lake gymnastics center. Raisman invited them to meet with her Wednesday.
“I'm sure if you look at this disgusting person who was caught filming these young kids as they were changing, I'm sure there were warning signs along the way,” she said.
Raisman said she’s working diligently to make sure adults are educated on warning signs, kids feel confident speaking up and organizations are held accountable.
“I think USA gymnastics is trying to, is thinking that this problem is going to go away, but I'm not going to stop speaking, neither are the incredible army of survivors,” Raisman said.
She said while gold medals are an honor, being the face of and a fighter for sexual assault victims and survivors is what makes her most proud.