Immagine dell'autore.

Opere di Rachael Denhollander


Informazioni generali



So beautiful

I wish I had this book when my daughter was small, but tomorrow I will still read it to her even if she is 20. And then next week I will read it to my 12 year old niece. And next month I will give it to my eight year old niece. And next year I will give it to newborn twin grandnieces.

It is important that they remember the truth of their worth and are encouraged as they find their purpose.
Zmosslady | 4 altre recensioni | May 13, 2024 |
This enlightening and crucial book about sexual abuse, medical malpractice, and the systems-wide coverups that are complicit in sociopathic human violations was emotionally difficult for me to read.

Rachael Denhollander, (one of Dr. Larry Nassar's victim's in his perverse practice of sexually violatng girls and young women under the guise of legitimate medical practice), is gifted in her ability to communicate in a straightforward manner that explains her experience; in doing so she educates and validates sexual abuse victims and illucidates how the mob of colluders makes possible and worsens the suffering of such abuse.

Rachael paints a clear picture of victim blame, which is misplaced, slanderous, and calculated to discredit abuse survivors who speak out.

From Wikipedia: "Lawrence Gerard Nassar... is a former USA Gymnastics national team doctor, former osteopathic physician and professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and convicted rapist. Nassar's cumulative sexual assault crimes were the basis of the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal that began in 2015, in which he was accused of assaulting at least 250 young women and girls dating back to 1992. His victims included numerous Olympic and United States women's national gymnastics team gymnasts and he has admitted to 10 of those accusations."

Also from Wikipedia: "Rachael Joy Denhollander... is an American lawyer and former gymnast. She was the first woman to publicly accuse Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics doctor, of sexual assault. Denhollander is 2018 Glamour Woman of the Year and was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2018."

Here are some quotes I wrote down while reading:

"As sexual survivors will tell you, saying something is one thing. Being heard - and believed - is another."

"When abusers feel protected and empowered, they tend to escalate their visibility and abuse."

"It's a common assumption that if you are abused, it's because you did something wrong."

Rachael had also been sexually abused at her church when she was seven, years before she met Larry Nassar. Nassar's defense, of course, tried to use this against her. "Larry's attorneys argued that I was deeply psychologically troubled because of prior abuse and that I had projected that onto Larry."

She said this about abuse in the church, "All the abusers attributed the mishandling of their cases to the Church's theology. They alledged dynamics like an excessive view of pastoral authority; a refusal to engage with secular authorities or abuse authorities outside the church; teachings concepts like unity, forgiveness, and grace that resulted is abusers being 'forgiven' while victims were silenced and characterized as bitter."

It's this way across the board, abusers and their legal teams revert to the fall back position, which gaslights and blames victims. Ever the educator, Rachael spells out how DARVO works. Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. Make the perpetrators out to be the ones picked on and harassed. They build their defense on "allegations" versus "untarnished truth."

At one point, Rachael was told that the statute of limitations had passed for her case against Nassar even though other victims were speaking out. Then, her team learned a new law extended the time constraints, therefore the crimes Nassar committed against her could be prosecuted because the old time period had not expired when the new law was passed. Her lawyer told her, "It's going to be a long shot. These cases are difficult enough to prosecute as it is, and the process is going to be very difficult on you. But if it were me... I would give it a shot. I would try."

Rachael expressed much justified anger at the complicit institutions, USA Gymnastics, University of Michigan, and more that were aware years before she became a victim of Nassar's that he was abusing girls. She explains, "They knew before I even walked in the door... The institutions that had kept Larry in power showed no signs of being the least bit motivated to examine how a prolific pedophile had flourished on their campus and in their organizations for decades... Larry could have and should have been stopped, but no one did the right thing. No one even asked the right questions. Everyone assumed these women were confused. Too uneducated to know what real medical treatment was. Their judgement wasn't trusted. Not even enough to ask a question."

I found her use of this famous quote powerful in this context, "You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know," ~ Abolitionist William Wilberforce

As she bravely and markedly continues to guide the reader through the entire physical, emotional, legal, financial, and social experience of being abused and then speaking and writing about it, she makes certain that those of us witnessing understand, "Doing this publicly... has greatly compounded the effects of sexual assault. It is not a move someone takes because they want healing.... This is not me finding my voice. This is me trying to protect the women I couldn't protect for sixteen years."

More quotes I wrote down:

"I wanted to see someone else fightng abuse. To feel less alone and isolated in the fight."

"The court system didn't seem to care and abuse victims were made to bear the cost. The defense was asked to make decisions, but the abusers are shamed and have to struggle through their testimony."

Coming forward after abuse of any kind, (sexual, domestic, medical, emotional), the victims find themselves in a system and world that is antagonistic to them. So, "WHY DON'T VICTIMS REPORT? Because most of the time the only thing reporting accomplishes is heightening the trauma to almost unbearable levels. It invites an audience to view your assault. It's choosing to have no voice in the process after it is stolen from you. That's why victims don't report."

Rachael repeatedly let's us know that she has supportive parents, siblings, spouse, and had a strong legal team. She wonders for all of us how difficult to impossible coming forward as an abuse victim is when one does not have these supports.

She goes on to lay out the foundation in which this type of abuse occurs at the hands of doctors: "In a position authority as a doctor, they coerce people to believe that procedures are safe and common, not scams."

In this book I consider essential reading, Rachael Denhollander provides a solid understanding of the culture of sexual abuse and why women are afraid to speak up. She elucidates victim experiences and retraumatization, particularly as it relates to court proceedings. “What is a Girl Worth?” is an uncomfortable, but necessary view into abuse that was typical in many ways, with 'grooming of not only the victim but the community, marking the struggle to identify the abuse for what it was given the lack of response from well-meaning authority figures, and the devastating shame and self-doubt that come with any attempt to heal.'

Denhollander’s abuse was also atypical in some significant ways. As she stated, her family was loving and supportive, her mother didn’t pass off her mood changes as being a teenager but recognized something was wrong, her abuser was famous, she had the law background to put together a strong case, and she had incredible advocates who partnered with her to bring about justice. Many abuse survivors don’t have these resources and are significantly hindered in their ability to heal, which greatly hinders them in seeking justice.

One of her mantras is: "The more you love, the harder you fight." I relate to this. One becomes an advocate for safety and against abuse to protect others from harm. Being a victim of medical abuse myself, I relate to this whole book, devestatingly so. I did not have the support Rachael does, and as I'm secular in my views, therefore I did not relate to her religious slant. I respect and understand that she wrote of her unique experience and the process she went through in questioning what she was taught about faith and forgiveness; I did so in my own way given my experiences and beliefs in life, as do most of the hundreds of victims I know.

In summation: this book is an extraordinary testimony from Rachael Denhollander that will guide, validate, and educate those who have suffered sexual (or other types of assault), or gone through the court system for it, and it will help others understand the dynamics that keep many survivors from reporting their abuse. It also gives insight as to how doctors get away with scams and abuse and are insularly protected.

Thank you, Rachael.
… (altro)
Sasha_Lauren | 8 altre recensioni | Aug 15, 2023 |
Audrey might only be three months old but she is never too young to have words of affirmation read to her. Words about how much she is valued. As a woman. As a child of God. As an individual with rights.

Written by Rachael Denhollander (the "whistleblower" of the Larry Nassar/USA Gymnastics scandal), "How Much is a Little Girl Worth" subtly speaks to abuses and how girls are worth so much more than that. Their voice is so much more. They are priceless.

It might be a picture book but I found this book worthwhile even for me.… (altro)
msgabbythelibrarian | 4 altre recensioni | Jun 11, 2023 |
I adore gymnastics. I never did it as a child, but one of my most vivid memories is of watching the 1996 Olympics. You know the one, where Kerri Strug landed that amazing fault and the Magnificent Seven captured team GOLD! Carly Patterson. Shawn Johnson. Simone Biles. Aly Raisman. These are names I remember so well.

And like everyone, I was DEVASTATED by the whole gymnastics sex abuse scandal and Larry Nassar. But it was a story that had to come out. And I'm glad it came out. So many people were victims.

I had never heard of Rachael Denhollander until recently. But then I did remember that her voice was the first voice. The first voice who spoke out and said "This is What Happened to Me." This story is about her, her story, and all of the pain that arose.....and the healing that comes.

Rachael's story is very sad. And what's really sad is the judgment and lack of belief she received from her church and the homeschooling community.. (Side bar, her reaction to Vision Forum's "The Return of the Daughters" is exactly the one I hold now. How sad it is that people still by into the philosophy that if a daughter has a mind of her own, she is bound to be raped or walk away from Christ.) It is sad how prevalent abuse is in the Christian community as well.....and a blind eye is turned to it.

Rachael is very honest and open about her faith. That is truly what sustains her many times. But she is also open about how a girl is worth infinitely more than how society can treat people. And we have to stand up.
… (altro)
msgabbythelibrarian | 8 altre recensioni | Jun 11, 2023 |

Premi e riconoscimenti

Potrebbero anche piacerti


½ 4.6

Grafici & Tabelle