A Message from Dr. Merrick in Response to Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Examining the FBI’s Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation

Statements & Messages

Courage. Bravery. Resilience. On Wednesday, September, 15, Olympic gymnasts McKayla Maroney, Simone Biles, Maggie Nichols, and Aly Raisman testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the FBI’s egregious handling of their initial reports of sexual abuse by then USA gymnastics team doctor, Larry Nassar. Their strength and courage is paving the way for other victims of sexual abuse to come forward, bring abuse into the light of day, and highlighting the gross failures of our youth serving systems in protecting children from harm. To these women and the countless other victims of sexual abuse, we see you, we hear you, we believe you, and we are doing all that we can to ensure that sexual abuse never occurs in the first place.

At Prevent Child Abuse America, we believe that the prevention of child sexual abuse is an adult responsibility. That means that adults, youth serving organizations, and communities must acknowledge the reality of sexual abuse and must work diligently to put into place policies and practices that minimize opportunities for its occurrence. As detailed in a recent report authored by the Enough Abuse Campaign and Prevent Child Abuse America, raising public awareness, training adults, enacting screening procedures for coaches, volunteers, and any other adult coming into contact with children, and closing loopholes that allow perpetrators of sexual abuse to avoid accountability are some of the ways in which states can help to create the conditions for safe and thriving children.

Together, we CAN prevent child abuse, America—because childhood lasts a lifetime.




Dr. Melissa Merrick
President & CEO

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