On Friday, Aly Raisman shared a lengthy message on Twitter in which she asked her followers for their help so that she create change in regards to the treatment of women and victim shaming. In the message, the three-time Olympic gold medalist wanted to clarify that a sexy photoshoot or sexy outfit “does not give a man the right to shame [a woman] or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse” and that victim shaming is the reason “so many survivors live in fear.”
“Women are allowed to feel sexy and comfortable in their own skin, in fact I encourage you all to wear what you feel good in,” Raisman wrote. “I will not put up with any woman or girl being shamed for wanting to wear a skirt, dress, etc. I do not tolerate it. Are we clear? Oh and one more thing. STOP VICTIM SHAMING. It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear.”
Raisman then retweeted someone who added the following to her message: “Also another life lesson, Just because we are nice to you doesn’t mean we want to sleep with you. #TheMoreYouKnow”.
Raisman told 60 Minutes earlier this month that she had been sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in the past, who is expected to plead guilty to two of his criminal cases in the coming weeks. Simone Biles, one of Raisman’s teammates in the 2016 Rio Olympics, tweeted her support the morning after the interview aired, telling Raisman she inspires her “day in and day out” and that she will always be in her corner supporting her.
“You are so brave and courageous,” Biles tweeted. “Keep your chin up!”