Editorial: Sexual Harassment & Assault


Written by River Stone, Co-Editor-In-Chief

For years the rumors have been hushed away, all damaging allegations swept under the rug. But the accusations against Harvey Weinstein seemed to set something in motion, a wave of courage and bravery gaining strength with every added voice. Sexual harassment and assault is no longer being ignored and that’s a monumental thing.

It seemed almost surreal- as if Weinstein getting charged set a line of dominos falling. Harvey Weinstein. Matt Lauer. Roy Moore. Larry Nassar- and more powerful moguls being taken down as we speak.

The thing each of these men had in common was the tremendous power and authority they had over their victims- the disturbing trend common in nearly all assault cases. It’s scary to think that the authoritative figures and people you’re supposed to hold trust in are the most likely to be an attacker. According to to the Department of Justice, of the sexual abuse cases reported to law enforcement, 93% of juvenile victims knew the perpetrator. Of these cases, a disturbing 59% of the perpetrators were acquaintances of the victim, 34% were family members, and 7% were strangers.

Larry Nassar in particular sparks a nerve, probably because almost every one of his victims was a minor. As an Olympic Gymnastics Doctor with a celebrity-like status, Nassar had unchecked power, and this is what made him so dangerous. In the privacy of his office, behind the safeguards of his reputation and a medical degree, Nassar was able to get away with molesting 200-plus teenage athletes over a timespan of more than 20 years.

The beauty that comes from this awful situation which rocked the world of gymnastics, is that it hasn’t been ignored. The voices have been broadcast across the nation as hundreds of women, everyone from gymnasts to mothers, publicly testified against Nassar in court- right in front of him, directly to his face.

The amount of courage it would take to speak out against your abuser seems unfathomable; but the fact that these girls spoke so eloquently while staring directly into Nassar’s eyes, is amazing.

I’d like to think we are moving into a future where all sexual abuse is called out, where justice is not wished for, but demanded. But that can only be achieved if people continue to talk about it and bring it under scrutiny. Because the world is full of messed up things, but if we can bring attention to the evils that happen, we might begin to make a difference.

To see a video of two-time Olympian Aly Raisman’s testimony against Nassar, look it up on Youtube titled “Watch Aly Raisman confront Larry Nassar in Court” or type in the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj1AU5hpyKY