Aly Raisman in Boston working on child sex abuse prevention

BOSTON (WHDH) - Needham native and Olympic champion Aly Raisman is in Boston Tuesday advocating for sexual abuse victims.

Raisman is working with Darkness to Light, an organization working to create a safer world for children.

“Once you are a survivor of sexual abuse or any kind of abuse, your life is never the same,” Raisman said.

Raisman said she is still hurting from the sexual abuse she suffered from former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar when she was younger.

“Any kind of trauma anyone deals with is not just something you suffer in the moment,” Raisman said. “It carries with you for the rest of your life.”

Now, almost a year after Raisman publicly shared her story, she wants to make it easier for adults to recognize when a child is being sexually abused.

“It’s like I can’t go somewhere without someone sharing their story with me,” Raisman said. “It’s devastating how common it is.”

Raisman is teaming up with Eastern Bank to support an organization called Darkness to Light to pay for people to take a training course on how to talk to kids, spot abuse, and prevent it.

“Think of it as a 101 course for child sexual abuse prevention,” Katelyn Brewer, of Darkness to Light, said.

That’s not all the Olympic gymnast is up to these days. Raisman took to social media to slam the recent hiring of a new USA Gymnastics president.

“Clearly this is not a ‘new’ USAG. Same corrupt decisions,” Raisman tweeted. “Perhaps it’s because true accountability is less likely if an authority is placed in the hands of someone similarly motivated to avoid it.”

Interim CEO Mary Bono announced her resignation Tuesday night after four days in the position. This comes after Raisman, among other gymnasts, called for Bono to step down.

“I use the word ‘corrupt’ because they do a lot of things that aren’t right,” Raisman said. “They just hired someone from a law firm that helped cover up our abuse, so that’s obviously unacceptable. It’s just absurd they thought that was a good idea.”

While in Boston working with Darkness to Light, Raisman told 7News she is happy to be home.

“I love being home ’cause I travel so much,” Raisman said. “I just like to have a home-cooked meal.”

Raisman is also calling for an independent investigation of USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee. She wants them to share data and documents to understand who knew what and when they knew it about the Nassar child sex abuse scandal.

 

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