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What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics
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September - Girl Worth > Chapters 6 + 7

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Rose Elliott | 28 comments Mod
We're a day off, but that's okay. I'll get what was supposed to be today's post out tomorrow or Sunday and then we'll be caught up since I was planning to take weekends off anyway!

CHAPTER SIX

Without a pause, without missing a beat, he kept working and his hand went up. Confusion and fear swirled around me. I was screaming for him to stop, but not a sound was coming out. Panic set in, and for a brief moment the room went dark and I blacked. Dizzy and disoriented, I eventually felt him turn me back over and rehook my bra.

...

What just happened?

...

Who else has he done this to?

...

I was...certain that no one would care about a teenage girl getting groped. Anyone could look around and know that. The sexual harassment and objectification of women, the dirty jokes, the "locker room talk," and the sexually aggressive behavior of men were constantly downplayed.

What I also knew was that my abuse was likely to be viewed by many as a compliment rather than a crime. And that was
if anyone even believed me. Sadly, I'd been down that road before--in , of all places, the church I grew up in.

I hate this chapter so much. Not because it's terribly written, but because of everything that happens in it. The boldness and blatant-ness of what he had already been doing was awful enough and then he just... takes even further advantage of her vulnerable position.

It's also especially heartbreaking because of what happened to her in a church of all places. Rachael reveals in this chapter that Larry's abuse was not the first time something like this had happened to her. She hadn't even been safe in her own childhood church. And if that wasn't bad enough, members and leaders of her church covered up what was happening and quietly dismissed the abuser. Reading about how Rachael's church responded made me consider my own responsibility not only as a church member but more so as an active part of the children's ministry at my church. We run background checks and have special training that everyone is required to go through. We have a two-worker policy and only parents diaper and take children on bathroom trips. But some days, I wonder if it's enough. What are some of the safeguards your church has in place to prevent child sexual abuse from occurring? What are some other ways you think that the church can be even more diligent in preventing our children from getting hurt in this way?


I want to give the second half of this chapter to anyone who ever asks the question, "Well, why didn't they report it as soon as it happened?" How many times have we ourselves seen something or had something happen to us that made us think, someone needs to know about this, but worried that maybe we were being to dramatic? I can think of illnesses that went undiagnosed and unfair situations that continued because I was afraid of speaking up and looking like a whiner. This is obviously not at all the same, but the lack of reporting is prevalent everywhere. People are right to be worried that no one will care or people will think they're being extra. What can we do as individuals to perpetuate change in the culture? How can we create a culture where survivors feel safe reporting sooner rather than later?

CHAPTER SEVEN

The first half of this chapter shows Rachael's shift from gymnast to coach. As she becomes an authority figure in her gymnasts' lives, she realizes both the weight of her role and just how easy it is for abusive coaches to get away with their abuse. I related to this a lot because of my roles in children's ministry both at my church and Bible Study Fellowship. Being a teacher and leader of children is not a task to take lightly. As I get older, I have become very aware of the weight my roles hold and how precious these children are, especially after reading this book. May it never be that any of us use our roles to our advantage or to harm others. What roles do you hold in your life (parent, teacher, leader, etc.) that make you hyper-aware of how easy it is to abuse one's power? How does this change the way you approach authority figures in your life or, if you are a parent, your children's lives?

The second part of this chapter is, again, what I want to make anyone who says "Why didn't they report?" The conversation Rachael has with Jackie will come back to haunt Jackie later in this book. Spend some time reflecting on Rachael's conversation with Jackie and how Jackie responded. Have you ever been in Jackie's position? What can we do to change the narrative if we are ever put in Jackie's position?

QUESTION SUMMARY

Chapter Six
--What are some of the safeguards your church has in place to prevent child sexual abuse from occurring?
--What are some other ways you think that the church can be even more diligent in preventing our children from getting hurt in this way?
--What can we do as individuals to perpetuate change in the culture?
--How can we create a culture where survivors feel safe reporting sooner rather than later?


Chapter Seven
--What roles do you hold in your life (parent, teacher, leader, etc.) that make you hyper-aware of how easy it is to abuse one's power?
--How does this change the way you approach authority figures in your life or, if you are a parent, your children's lives?
--pend some time reflecting on Rachael's conversation with Jackie and how Jackie responded. Have you ever been in Jackie's position?
--What can we do to change the narrative if we are ever put in Jackie's position?



Matthew Manchester (calvinistbatman) | 233 comments Mod
What are some of the safeguards your church has in place to prevent child sexual abuse from occurring?

Open doors at all times, two kids workers in every room, integrated family worship except for the very young, and a kids/nursery policy manual laying out rules and policies for kids workers including the process when reporting abuse.

But for adults? Nothing as far as I'm aware.


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