Warning: This post contains subject matter some people may find distressing.
More than 100 victims of disgraced Olympic doctor Larry Nassar have taken the stage at the annual ESPY Awards to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
In an incredible and emotional display of courage, the group of 140 women, including Olympic gold medallist Aly Raisman, stood on stage hand-in-hand at the end of the award ceremony.
Three of Nassar’s victims Aly Raisman, Sarah Klein and Tiffany Thomas Lopez fronted the group, delivering a speech after accepting the award from actress Jennifer Garner.
“The ripple effect of our actions, or inactions, can be enormous, spanning generations. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this nightmare is that it could have been avoided,” Raisman said.
“To all the survivors out there, don’t let anyone rewrite your story. Your truth does matter. You matter. And you are not alone.”
— ESPYS (@ESPYS) July 19, 2018
“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 stand between us and Larry Nassar.”
“Telling our story over and over again in graphic detail is not easy,” Sarah Klein added.
“It is gruelling and it is painful, but it is time.”
Softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez reiterated the importance of the night, adding “Tonight, we stand here and it feels like we’re finally winning”.
A series of videos were also aired throughout the awards ceremony. Throughout the videos, athletes including Larissa Boyce, Tiffany Thomas Lopez and Sarah Klein described their personal stories of traumatic abuse at the hand of Nassar as teenagers.
Larry Nassar was sentenced to life in prison in January, after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting more than 250 women and underage girls over two decades.
In the hearing, over 150 of Nassar's victims faced their abuser and told him the damage he caused.
Listen: Aly Raisman on the abuse she suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar.
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Rachael Denhollander was one of the first victims to come forward about the abuse.
The gymnast was treated by the doctor at 15 in 2000.
“Larry meticulously groomed me for the purpose of exploiting me for his sexual gain. He penetrated me, he groped me, he fondled me. And then he whispered questions about how it felt,” she said, CNN reports.
“Women and girls banded together to fight for themselves because no one else would do it. Larry found sexual satisfaction in our suffering.”