warning: this article contains explicit content
On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, Kyle Stephens stood in front of her accused molester, doctor Larry Nassar, and defiantly articulated a phrase that has now emerged as a rally cry and an all-encompassing theme in the wake of the #METOO watershed:
“Little girls don’t stay little forever. They grow into strong women that return to destroy your world.”
Kyle was the first of dozens of women to testify against the doctor, and her bravery amidst a most grueling, heartbreaking scenario must not go unnoticed.
The sexual abuse she endured at the hands of Nassar began at age six. She was a gymnast in kindergarten during their first encounter, and yet the abuse continued until she was 12 years old. Nassar was a friend of the family, and because of his direct access to Kyle, she became a babysitter for his children despite the cruelty she suffered.
The sexual abuse began when Nassar exposed himself to her in a dark boiler room. His heinous actions include pleasuring himself in front of her, rubbing his penis on her bare feet, and putting his finger in her vagina, according to a report by CNN.
Despite her efforts to convince her parents of the abuse, they did not believe her at the time. Nassar convinced her family that she was lying, and her family became tragically divided.
Years later, when Kyle’s father realized that she was telling the truth, he committed suicide.
Thank you, Kyle
Coverage about this truly horrific court case can be found almost anywhere, as it should be. Men and women everywhere need to read the reports, discuss these gruesome events, and commit to memory and action the promise to fight against this evil.
Larry Nassar was able to commit such widespread sexual abuse because he was surrounded by enablers; people who turned a blind eye in favor of believing him over the victims. And as a result, hundreds of women, most of whom were innocent children at the time, have had their lives changed at the hands of a monster forever.
Kyle, in no way could this have been easy for you. To stare down the man who abused and molested you for years, tore apart your family, and caused massive depression and anxiety is perhaps one of the most courageous acts there is.
And because of you, and the dozens of brave women who testified against Nassar with you, young girls will never have to become unwilling victims at the hands of this sexual predator ever again.
Because of you, young girls and women around the world know that they have the power and the strength to confront their abusers and send them to jail where they belong.
Because of you, young girls and women don’t have to feel the pain and shame that comes with no one believing them.
Because of you, we have been able to witness, to champion, a little girl grow into a strong woman and destroy the life of a sexual monster forever.
CNN | Lansing State Journal | Earn the Necklace
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