Aly Raisman Has A Message For Anyone Linking Gymnasts' Leotards To Sexual Abuse

"Leotards are not the problem."

Aly Raisman has no time for victim shaming in the discussion of sexual abuse in gymnastics. The Olympic medalist tweeted her thoughts on the suggestion that gymnasts should change their uniforms — and she made it clear that "leotards [are] not the problem."


"The problem is the many pedophiles out there & the adults who enable them," Raisman wrote in a tweet, which has earned more than 26,000 likes. "By saying clothing is part of the issue, [you] are victim shaming/implying survivors should feel it's their fault."

In January, Raisman testified against former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for sexually abusing more than 150 athletes. After the trial, Raisman took out a full-page ad thanking her fellow survivors.

"Today was an important victory but there is still work to be done," she wrote at the time.

The suggestion that women's clothing is linked to sexual assault is unfortunately common. Last October, amid increasing accusations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Gabrielle Union shared the story of her own assault to dispel the myth that dressing modestly will protect women.

Raisman, who has previously spoken out about body positivity, also shared a link to her initiative Flip the Switch, which educates adults in how to prevent sexual abuse in gymnastics. She has even promised to sign each certificate of completion for the training.

"Sexual abuse is something that needs to be discussed openly — especially now — given the challenges our sport is facing, and all adults should become educated as to how to prevent it," Raisman told Sports Illustrated. "Ignoring the issue, in hopes that it goes away, is unacceptable. Athlete safety must be the highest priority."

(H/T: Glamour)

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