Unfortunately, we are talking about a fairly recurring issue. One of those realities as uncomfortable as necessary to face. Talking about sexual abuse is complicated, really hard, especially when those affected are children or young people, whose vulnerability is greater than that of anyone else. If, in addition, the authorities fail to do their job well, if the system normalizes these situations by looking the other way, everything enters an even more complicated terrain.
In recent months, gymnast Simone Biles has made headlines for different reasons. His mental health, as a result of his abandonment in some tests of the Olympic Games, turned the attention even more on his figure. In recent days, your statement to the US Senate on past sexual abuse has once again highlighted a rather serious problem.
Unfortunately, it has not been the only case. It will neither be the first nor, unfortunately, it will be the last. Humanity is capable of the best but also the worst. There are people who act without stopping to think about the consequences of their actions, not even the consequences that they can leave in the minds of their victims.
The public relevance of this case gives it special visibility. A complaint before the United States justice has as accused the former doctor of the national gymnastics team Larry Nassar. The doctor was denounced by several athletes for alleged sexual abuse committed during his formative years. The case is worrying. The FBI learned of the first accusations in 2015, and Nassar was not arrested until the end of 2016. A report revealed major errors by the FBI that led to a delay in the investigation for months.
The feeling that underlies these types of cases is worrying. The presumption of innocence is a clear principle in justice, although discrediting women before public opinion in this type of situation is something that should not be tolerated. Imagine that victim who has suffered a trauma with the added burden of an environment full of self-doubt.
climate of disbelief
I don’t want to imagine that psychological damage that must remain forever. They make a great effort to denounce it, to relive with memories something they wish to forget. Perhaps that is why we should understand that many times it takes time to face it. Perhaps because they know how the system works, perhaps out of fear of the consequences, or it may be because of that fear of not being believed. Reliving that psychological suffering that they must have endured for a long time deserves absolute respect from everyone.
Lately we live in a climate of discredit towards this type of reality and, counteracting this tendency, for the sake of the victims, is something that deserves all our effort. They are brave girls, they want justice. The question is why it costs so much. They testified and some details must be addressed: Simone Biles focused on the system in addition to blaming Larry Nassar for what happened. Another of her companions assured that she wanted to know who was really being protected, because she noticed a lack of help on her person.
After knowing all this, after seeing a more human version of his figure, are we surprised that Biles gave up some tests in the Games? Do we put ourselves in their shoes after internal suffering for years?
I think that, within the tragedy of the case, it should help us to empathize with the athletes. We can understand that many decisions that seem inexplicable to us always have a reason behind them. I hope that both Biles and her colleagues, and by extension all the victims, get the peace of mind they deserve, get the justice and the answers they need. Above all, feeling protected by a system that protects and gives the relevance it deserves to cases of the greatest gravity.
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