Olympic champion gymnast Gabby Douglas says she is among the group of athletes sexually abused by a former team doctor.
Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion and a three-time gold medalist, wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday night that she waited so long to reveal the abuse by Larry Nassar because she was part of a group “conditioned to stay silent.”
The 21-year-old Douglas is the latest high-profile gymnast to come forward against Nassar, who spent nearly two decades as the national team doctor for USA Gymnastics before being fired in 2015. Two-time Olympic teammate Aly Raisman detailed her abuse by Nassar in her autobiography “Fierce” released earlier this month. Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney disclosed abuse by Nassar in October.
Nassar, 54, is accused of molesting several girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University. He’s facing similar charges in a neighboring county and lawsuits filed by more than 125 women and girls.
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New Delhi, August 27, 2017: Based on a pencil sketch of a 10-year-old child victim, Delhi court judge Vinod Yadav has taken the decision to punish her 45-year-old uncle for rape and sentenced him to 5 years in jail on June 2016.
Her uncle Akhter Ahmed, who has been jailed for sexual assault, said that the girl had been tortured to speak against him in the court. He also said that she is not a competent witness but the sketch she drew to keep herself busy during trial proceedings, made the Judge to put the rapist behind bars.
The judge gave the verdict based on, “A close scrutiny of the drawing reveals that she has depicted an abandoned house in gloomy colors, a girl carrying some balloons with intermingled threads and her dress lying removed.” The Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav said that the sketch highlighted the lasting torturous impression of the sexual assault that is left on her the mind and this ruled what the uncle earlier said of her not being competent to testify against him.
The girl’s horrifying incidence which is like a nightmare had its origin in the year 2014, the time when she moved in with her aunt from Kolkata to Delhi. Her mother died and her father (who was a drug addict) abandoned her. This is also the year when her trauma started.
Her uncle used to sexually abuse her. The little girl tried to confide in her aunt, wanted to tell her what happened with her but she thought her aunt wouldn’t listen to her. So, one day, she just ran out of the home so as to escape the torture she was dealing with. A conductor saw her on a bus in November 2014, she was sitting all alone and crying. He tried to talk to her and find out what is wrong but she didn’t say a word. Thus, he handed her over to the police, who called in the counselors for help from a non-governmental organization (NGO) called Haq Foundation.
According to NDTV report, the girl’s counselor Uzma Pravin told, “For the first few sessions the girl was not revealing what was going on in her mind but as she became more familiar, she started opening up in bits and pieces.” Uzma joined the puzzle pieces of information together and started to shape up the young girl’s narrative until she was more coherent.
But when the counselors gave her a sheet of paper, pencil, and crayons during the proceedings of the court, they thought it was a way to help the child stay busy with something and would feel less nervous about what was going on. But, one day when the young girl showed the sketch she made to the counselor Uzma Pravin, she gave it to the judge.
She said, “Her drawings revealed a lot about her. There was always something in it. Most children can’t express themselves. However, if we try to look at their drawings, we can understand them,” mentions NDTV report.
Her colleague, Bharti Ali, said that drawing therapy was one of the child-friendly practices which the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Gita Mittal encouraged foundations like Haq to undertake Bharti Ali said that the court verdict was a kind of positive development and a moment of victory but she hoped that more judges in future could use and allow innovative methods like this.
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