LOCAL AREA VICTIM IN THE LARRY NASSAR SEX ABUSE SCANDAL TALKS ABOUT HOPE & HELPING OTHERS
Now 18 years old and a senior at Neuqua Valley High School, Hannah was the victim of sexual abuse since age 11 at the hands of U.S. Olympic Gymnastics doctor, Larry Nassar.
“He used his power and my innocence in order to manipulate me,” she says. “I have been a level ten gymnast since the seventh grade, and with being a high level athlete comes injuries; my coaches thought they were sending me to the best doctor.”
Since the story has hit headlines, Hannah has made it her mission to do everything she can to speak up and prevent sexual abuse. “The more brave people that stand up against it, the less our culture will tolerate it, and the less people like Nassar will get away with inexcusable acts,” she says.
“If you are a victim, don't feel like you have to stay quiet and be ashamed; you are strong and courageous, and you have a voice. I truly believe in making the best out of the worst situations, and I believe you can take your pain to help others. Don't let what happened to you define you, let it strengthen you.”
Speaking up is part of Hannah’s healing process, along with hosting fundraising events to create awareness for Speak Your Silence (https://speakyoursilence.org/), who provides nationwide counseling for sexual assault victims and gives them a place to speak up and stand up for themselves. Hannah designed a custom t-shirt, currently available at Anderson’s Bookshop and Oswald’s Pharmacy in Naperville, as well as Twist Yoga Lounge in Plainfield, and is contributing 100% of funds to Speak Your Silence.
She hopes to implement changes to the health curriculum at schools to include in-depth discussions about how to prevent sexual assault and what to do if you ever find yourself a victim of it. –Kristen Kucharski
Photos by Mike Mantucca for Glancer Magazine
This Article Will Appear Inside the Early May 2018 Issue of Glancer Magazine
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