Aly Raisman Says Banning Leotards Won’t Stop Abuse of Gymnasts, Speaks Out Against Victim-Shaming

Aly Raisman Says Banning Leotards Isn't Solution
Aly Raisman during the Women’s Individual All Around Final on Day 6 of the Rio Olympics at Rio Olympic Arena on August 11, 2016. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Aly Raisman is once again using her powerful voice to be a force in the fight against sexual harassment.

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The 23-year-old two-time Olympic gymnast took to Twitter on Sunday, March 25, to speak out about victim-shaming gymnasts for wearing leotards.

“I was recently asked if gymnasts should continue wearing leotards. Leotards [are] not the problem,” she wrote. “The problem is the many pedophiles out there & the adults who enable them.”

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She continued: “By saying clothing is part of the issue, [you] are victim shaming/implying survivors should feel it’s their fault.”

While some followers opted to take the opposite opinion on the uniform, many came to her defense. “Choice for personal comfort is great! As long as the options are safe for performance. But it’s not what stops abuse,” one follower responded. “Creating a place where athletes feel safe to speak up, are treated like people and where adults don’t tolerate any bad behavior w/ kids is what stops it.”

Another added, “We wouldn’t be saying that about divers or swimmers. Spot on Aly.”

This isn’t the first time that Raisman, who spoke out in court earlier this year against her abuser, disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, has been vocal about victim-shaming.

After more than 160 women including Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney came forward with claims of sexual abuse against Nassar — who has since been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison — Raisman has continued to speak out on social media.

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“Just to be clear…Just because a woman does a sexy photoshoot or wears a sexy outfit does not give a man the right to shame her or not believe her when she comes forward about sexual abuse. What is wrong with some of you? AND when a woman dresses sexy it does not give a man the right to sexually abuse her EVER,” she wrote in a lengthy tweet in November 2017.

She added: “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. 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?”

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