U.S. Gymnasts are helping to change the culture around Sexual Assault.

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By Cameron Dinkins

Earlier this month three-time olympic Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas, drew criticism after she tweeted women should dress a certain way in order not to get sexually assaulted. Her tweet was in response to her former teammate Aly Raisman who announced that she was assaulted by former Olympic Dr. Larry Nassar.

Douglas, a few days later took to instagram to give a long message to the public about her experience being sexual assaulted by Dr. Nassar and also to apologize for her crude comments to her former teammate.

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please hear my heart

A post shared by Gabby Douglas (@gabbycvdouglas) on

In her statement Douglass spoke on how she was conditioned to stay silent on what happened to her:

“I didn’t publicly share my experiences as well as many other things because for years we were conditioned to stay silent and honestly some things were extremely painful. I wholeheartedly support my teammates for coming forward with what happened to them.”

Both Douglas and Raisman allegations came after their teammate olympic gold and silver medalist McKayla Maroney took to social media during the “me too” campaign to express that she was abused by Dr. Nassar.

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Maroney said the alleged abuse started when she was 13 and continued all the way until after the London Olympics in 2012.

Nassar, who is the former USA Gymnastics team physician was arrested in November of 2016 and recently pledged guilty to federal charges of child pornography and several counts of sexual misconduct.

Nassar is now awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to these charges.

In a recent interview with 60 Minutes, Raisman gave her opinion on the ordeal believing USA gymnastics should make changes in the way it is conducted in order to make sure all of its athletes are safe from predators like Nassar.

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Raisman believes the culture of sexual assault should change. She states women should not be shunned for keeping the assaults to themselves. She herself was afraid to speak for herself because of the way Nassar manipulated her.

Douglas, Raisman, and Maroney have all been praised for their bravery to come forward about being sexually assaulted. In a time where the treatment of sexual assault cases has been pushed to the forefront, it is great to see women with power share their stories.

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