When Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman was asked about the one thing that’s bothering her most, she said it’s the pervasive issue of sexual violence.
“The statistics are just alarming, it’s one in four girls are sexually abused, and those are just the girls that speak up and that [statistic] was from a couple of years ago,” the Olympic gymnast said in a Facebook Live video for People Magazine on Wednesday. “I can’t tell you how many girls I know that have been sexually abused at some point in their life and it’s so sad.”
Raisman emphasized the issue of victim-blaming and slut-shaming, and why the onus should never, ever be on women to avoid being assaulted. “We also live in a culture where if a girl is wearing a short skirt or she’s wearing a low cut blouse it’s okay for men to rape women,” she said. “It’s just out of control.”
Speaking up about the issue, Raisman said, will help solve it. She told People that she thinks boys and girls should learn at a young age what the definition of consent means. “There needs to be a class that’s valued just as much as math class that teaches boys and girls to respect each other,” she said.
“If a girl doesn’t say ‘yes,’ then it’s not consent.”
Raisman’s comments come at the very beginning of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, an after more than 100 women accused former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse ― a sex abuse scandal that involves more victims than that of Bill Cosby’s and Jerry Sandusky’s scandals combined.
Check out Raisman’s full interview here.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.