Days after she apologized for her response to Team USA teammate Aly Raisman in regards to sexual assault victims, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas has revealed in an Instagram post that she was also abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar.
"I didn't publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because, for years, we were conditioned to stay silent and, honestly, some things were extremely painful," Douglas wrote, as transcribed by Sports Illustrated. "I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them."
On Friday, Douglas had tweeted in response to Raisman's revelation that she had been abused by Nassar, suggesting that "dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd." The comments elicited backlash from both Raisman and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, but now Douglas, on Instagram and Twitter, says that she reacted irresponsibly to a situation that also affected her:
I didn't view my comments as victim shaming because I know that no matter what you wear, it NEVER gives anyone the right to harass or abuse you. It would be like saying that because the leotards we wore, it was our fault that we were abused by Larry Nassar.
I understand that many of you didn't know what I was dealing with, but it is important to me that you at least know this. I do not advocate victim shaming/blaming in any way, shape or form!
Nassar, 54, has been charged with 22 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and awaits sentencing in Michigan. The former USA Gymnastics team doctor has now been accused of assault by Douglas, Raisman and fellow Olympics gymnast McKayla Maroney.