Angelina Jolie paid tribute to the gymnasts who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
This week Jolie visited Capitol Hill to meet athletes McKayla Maroney and Aly Raisman. Alongside Simone Biles, the two testified at Wednesday’s Senate hearing regarding the FBI’s mismanagement of an assault investigation against former U.S. gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
Sharing photos of her visit on Instagram, Jolie wrote that it was an honor to meet the gymnasts and that she was in awe of their courage to come forward.
“I was honored to meet some of the brave American gymnasts who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. I am in awe of their courage and commitment to preventing future abuse investigation failures, ”she wrote in the caption. “As Aly Raisman said in her testimony,” more than 100 victims could have been spared from the abuse. All we needed was an adult to do the right thing. “We send support and respect to them and to all who are reliving this trauma so that system reforms can take place. ‘
Nassar has been accused of sexual assault in more than 150 reports by women and girls. In January 2018, he was officially sentenced to 175 years in prison. Gymnasts Maroney, Raisman and Biles appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to testify against former Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s FBI report on the Nassar investigation, arguing the report included false statements that failed to document the allegations of the survivors.
Throughout testimony, Biles alluded to his own experience of sexual assault while noting that it reflected a systemic problem. “I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. And I believe without a doubt that the circumstances which led to my abuse and allowed it to continue, are a direct result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to monitor and protect me as an athlete, USA Gymnastics and United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), didn’t do its job, ”Biles said.
“I don’t want another young gymnast, Olympian or any other individual to go through the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and still today as a result of Larry’s abuse. Nassar, ”Biles added. . “To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that allowed and perpetrated his abuses.”
Jolie has been a staunch defender of human rights. In addition to her visit with the gymnasts on Capitol Hill, she also worked with Senators throughout the week to include “better protections for abused children, collection of unbiased forensic evidence, trauma care On violence against women law reauthorization and FBI reforms. , according to his Instagram post.
Jolie’s visit to Capitol Hill precedes the release of her new book, Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth, published with Amnesty International and human rights lawyer Geraldine Van Bueren. Earlier this month, she told Reuters she hoped her next book would help educate victims about their rights and help vulnerable people “fight back”.
“So many children are at risk around the world and we just aren’t doing enough,” Jolie told the news agency. “These are their rights, decided years ago based on what would make them healthy, balanced, secure and stable adults.”
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