Aly Raisman opens up about sexual abuse, says it’s hard to hear other survivors’ stories

Three-time Olympic gold medal-winner Aly Raisman opened up about experiencing sexual abuse and the personal difficulty in hearing other survivors tell their stories.

Raisman, 24, told Yahoo! News that people have approached her in person to tell their stories of sexual abuse.

“When I go out on the street, or I’m at the airport, or the grocery store, or whatever it is, people are so supportive,” she told Yahoo! News.

The star gymnast said their stories can be difficult at times to hear after going through sexual abuse herself.

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“I think sometimes people forget I am coping with it, too,” she said. “And sometimes people will go into graphic detail and I find that when I’m honest with them and let them know that I’m still struggling I feel like they feel more connected to me.

“I was nervous they were gonna be mad at me, and then tweet that, ‘Aly Raisman’s such a horrible person’ but I’m just being honest and I can’t handle it,” she said. “Some days when you literally have seven different people in an hour at the airport tell you they were assaulted, it’s really hard to think, ‘Wow, we live in such a peaceful and great world,’” she said.

In 2017, Raisman revealed she was sexually abused by disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar during the London 2012 games. She confronted her abuser in court when he was on trial and detailed the abuse.

“You were a doctor and trusted by so many and you took advantage of so many,” she said during the trial. “The effects of your actions are far-reaching and it’ll haunt survivors for the rest of their lives.”

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Raisman said there were times she received backlash for being outspoken about her sexual abuse.

“People are like, ‘We get it. Just stop talking. We get it. He’s in jail.’ But they don’t understand,” she said.

Nassar was sentenced in Michigan state court to 40 to 175 years in prison after he was convicted on criminal sexual conduct charges. Nassar also received a federal sentence of 60 years in prison for possession of child pornography.

Raisman said in July that she will continue to speak out because she realized others could relate.

“I realize that there are so many people out there that can relate, so I want to continue to speak out and call attention to such an important issue. Right now I am just trying to take things day by day,” she said.

Fox News’ Julius Young contributed to this report.