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In January of 2018, Dr. Larry Nassar found himself sequestered in an

emotionally charged courtroom where he was finally forced to sit, face-to-

face with the 140, yes you read that right, one hundred and forty

woman and young girls that he had sexually molested, under the guise

of “treating” his “patients.” He was finally forced to listen to these

brave women. And speak they did. One after the other, they boldly

stood just feet away from their worst nightmare where they not only

confronted him, but more importantly they did battle with their own

fears. His once impotent, silent victims were now speaking louder than

he could have ever imagined and they were doing it in front of a

worldwide audience of millions.

Court Footage captured tears on many faces, including Dr. Nassar’s.

During his sentencing he was allowed to make a short statement:

“…Your words.. have shaken me to my core.” – Nassar.

Many have called him a heartless monster, most have deemed him

unworthy of even death, concluding that death would be a way too

easy “out” for this awful man. They would rather he spend the rest of

his days tortured and miserable, rotting away in a prison somewhere.

Unfortunately, that emotionally based response, while reasonable and

even understandable, shows a total lack of understanding as it relates

to abuser and especially abusers who prey on younger victims in a

sexual manner. What the facts show us is that victims who are not

treated, counseled, or helped in some way are actually at risk of

becoming abusers themselves.

I don’t believe that anyone consciously wakes up and decides to

commit mass murder or to rape a passing stranger. It’s truly this simple:

Hurt people hurt people. Mercy, sympathy and kindness are foreign,

usually because these people were deprived of the same in their

darkest hours of need. In those hours where their innocence was being

stripped from them, most likely by the dark past of still another grieving

soul, both sides fates were being sealed. Victim and abuser; both hurt

and both hurting.

Being molested, sometimes repeatedly could easily crush a person’s

spirit, now imagine, on top of that, also being called a liar. How soul

crushing must that have been? I can hardly imagine the damage that

must have done to these young girls. But the injustice doesn’t end

there. As it turns out, USA Gymnastics was made aware of this man’s

behavior, but for some yet to be discovered or disclosed reason, they

took a staggeringly underwhelming five years to address these horrible

accusations leveled against one of their own high-profile employees.

We can all understand the victims anger with this malfeasance.

How many decades was this man allowed access to an almost endless

supply of young girls, because of the pride or cowardice of an entire

organization? Unfathomable. And to learn that sometimes even the

parents remained silent. Stop for a second and think about the horror

of you, as a parent of one of these young girls, doing nothing. That

would have been bad enough but now think about the fact that some

of these parents even delivered their children into the hands of this

abuser. How do they live with that on their shoulders?

Now, bear with me as I ask the unpopular question: who first abused

Larry Nassar? Did he have available help? Was counseling offered?

Was he protected as we all hope to protect our loved ones?

Was he offered help to get over his trauma? Who offered to help

navigate and try to heal the brokenness in his soul that ultimately

turned him into this horrendous abuser now in his orange prison

jumpsuit and shackles?

I feel that we, as the responsible adults, have no choice but to take the

initiative and dare to look into the past to determine when this awful

seed of abuse was first planted. If we, as parents could educate

ourselves and step beyond our sense of pride and instead of hiding in

shame, step forward in boldness and seek help for our children, how

much lower could the abuse rate be?

If we are to hit this crisis head on and are honestly seeking a solution, it

will be important to understand what unresolved pain Larry Nassar, as

well as the famous movie producer and the infamous politician

experienced before their demons were released on their unsuspecting

and wholly innocent victims.

It is important for victims and perpetrators to become involved in

counseling and/or healing programs as soon as possible for their own

healing and future happiness. Healing can prevent sexual abuse from

being passed on to the next generation whether it be as perpetrator or

victim of the abuse. It is equally important to remember that

forgiveness is not for the sake of the perpetrator. Forgiveness is the

victims alone. It is what allows the victim to move on with their lives.

Forgiveness fights mortal combat with the guilt, shame and ultimately

the rage a victim feels. The danger to the victim is that the physical

abuse might have been arrested, chocked deep down inside, but

without forgiveness the mental and emotional torment will go on for

decades, with some victims carrying this pain to their graves.

 

Author: Tina Konkin

For over 32 years, Tina has been helping heal the broken-hearted through her powerful story of abuse and abandonment. She is the Founder and Director of Newport Beach-based R3 Lifeline and facilitates the organization’s acclaimed Relationship Lifeline and Couples Retreat. Tina has facilitated hundreds of seminars for youth, adults, couples, and families. The breakthroughs she has helped individuals achieve have made her a sought-after speaker for women’s groups, conferences, churches, and businesses across the U.S. and Canada, as well as overseas. She has shared her unique insights and perspectives on numerous radio and television programs, including: Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Real Housewives of Orange County, Today, and the Dr. Phil Show.

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