Aly Raisman’s Powerful Speech About Believing Survivors Is Essential

Photo By Rachel Murray/Getty Images For NBCUniversal.

“All we needed was one adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nassar”

Olympian Aly Raisman—alongside former gymnast Sarah Klein and softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez—delivered a powerful message at the ESPY Awards on behalf of the hundreds of people former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused.

Last night, 141 "sister survivors" of Nassar, led by Raisman, Klein, and Lopez, took the stage to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The trio used their platform to speak about the importance of believing survivors and to detail the painful experience of not being believed.

“If just one adult had listened, believed, and acted, the people standing before you on this stage would have never have met him," Raisman said, also adding, "Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided. Whether you act or do nothing, you are shaping the world that we live in. Impacting others. All we needed was one adult to have the integrity to stand between us and Larry Nassar.”

Klein spoke to the difficulties of reliving the abuse, noting that “speaking up and speaking out is not easy." 

"Telling our stories of abuse over and over and over again, in graphic detail, is not easy,” she said. “We’re sacrificing privacy and being judged and scrutinized, and it is painful, but it is time.”

Lopez talked about the ubiquity of abuse, and encouraged people to engage with these conversations, even if they're difficult. “There are a lot of conversations in our society that we tiptoe around as if they’re something to avoid,” she said. “Sexual abuse claims victims come in every race, showing no discrimination.”

Watch their emotional speech, below.

Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, and so much more

Every weekend, we bring you #SOUNDCHECK—your destination for the best of the best new music that hit the web over the course of the week. Because you should always be prepared when someone passes you that AUX cord. This week's round features 21 of our favorite emerging and established artists including Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, Tacocat, and so many more. Turn up, tune in, and tune out.

"Please Me" - Cardi B and Bruno Mars
"Please Me" will pair perfectly with all of the Valentine's Day candy you just bought on clearance. Trust me, there couldn't be a more perfect time to listen to this ultra-'90s R&B track.

Head Above Water - Avril Lavigne
I'm honestly jealous of whomever Avril is singing about on "Goddess."

Tacocat - Grains of Salt [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

"Grains of Salt" - Tacocat
When I realized Tacocat was back, I literally turned around at my desk and yelled. It's a miracle.

"Can I Talk" - Caleb Steph
Caleb Steph's debut single proves that he's ready for the spotlight.

Betty - Betty Who
"You better recognize/ That you're wasting all my time" from "The One" is my new favorite response to every "photographer" on Tinder.

"Butterfly" - Kehlani
The only thing more beautiful than this cover art is Kehlani's voice.

SASAMI - Free (feat. Devendra Banhart) (Official Video)

"Free" - SASAMI feat. Devendra Banhart
I would have never predicted a SASAMI and Devendra Banhart collaboration, but I am 100 percent not complaining.

Rex Orange County - New House

"New House" - Rex Orange County
Alex O'Connor never fails to impress me with his soulful bedroom pop, and "New House" is no exception.


"Cuz I Love You" - Lizzo
Distorted guitar paired with Lizzo's belting vocals? Chills, literally. She did that!

"Heads Gonna Roll" - Jenny Lewis
Like if Stevie Nicks' voice met Father John Misty's lyrics.

"Get Well" - Donna Missal
Donna Missal tells me everything I needed to hear about breakups on "Get Well."

"Patient" - Monica Martin
Sultry and sweet.

"Whorey Heart" - TeaMarr
TeaMarrr's bouncy new song is an excellent roast of the kind of fuckboi we all know and hate.

"Ice Me Out (Remix)" - Kash Doll
Kash Doll shows that she knows her way around a beat on "Ice Me Out."

"Lips of Lips" - Tiffany Young
Definitely catch me driving around with my windows down this summer blaring "Lips on Lips."