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What The Case Against Larry Nassar Teaches Us About The Case Against Women’s Pain

Trigger warning: This article discusses sexual abuse and sexual misconduct. If you are being sexually abused, have experienced sexual abuse, and need help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at: 1-800-656-4673

For more than 20 years, women launched reports of misconduct against Dr. Larry Nassar. Famous for being the team physician for the champion USA Women’s Olympics Gymnastics Team, Nassar was a well respected and endorsed medical professional. Until, that is, nearly 200 women came forward to share stories of sexual abuse and misconduct at, quite literally, the hands of Dr. Nassar. After years of complaints, exposes in local papers, and attempts at law suits, women’s voices were finally heard. In January of 2018, the judge overseeing the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nassar punished him to up to 175 years in prison after he pleaded guilty.

Larry Nassar was forced to listen to the testimonies of 196 women he had hurt both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Days into these testimonies, he wrote a letter to the judge telling her that the mental pain of listening to the emotional please was too much for him to bear. He was distraught and distressed and did not feel he could go on. Accurately, the judge encouraged him to consider how his victims must have felt at the time of his abuse and their entire lives since.

Female pain is not often considered, especially in the medical world. Research studies have proven that men are treated for pain more readily as well as more efficiently than women. Since the earliest practices of medicine, female pain has been written off as emotional, being labeled “hysteria” and women becoming permanently stigmatized as “hysterical”, according to an article by The Atlantic titled “Larry Nassar and the Impulse to Doubt Female Pain”. What happens when a woman’s alcoholism, drug addiction, and her cry for help is disregarded as “hysteria”? Too many women know.

Women’s alcoholism, moreover women’s pain, is not always obvious. Due to the inherently emotional nature of women, a woman’s emotions are sometimes more obvious. Many women shockingly hear rebuttals against their important and momentous cries for help:

“You don’t drink that much”

“Everyone likes a little wine now and then”

“Mommies need their Mommy Juice”

“You don’t look sick”

“You don’t act like an alcoholic”

“You couldn’t be a drug addict”

“You just need to take a break”

“You’re doing the best you can”

Unless a woman’s pain, whatever her pain may be, is glaringly and acceptably obvious, it is not taken as seriously as it should be. When a woman says anything along the lines of “I have a problem and I need help” that statement should be taken into consideration. If her problem includes drugs, alcohol, eating disorder behavior, or a difficulty coping with any kind of trauma which has occurred in her lifetime, that statement should be taken into serious consideration.

When a woman speaks up about her addiction or alcoholism, she has finally decided, and found the ability, to listen to her highest vibrational self. Women are incredibly as well as harmfully aware of the stigmas living against them. Speaking up for a woman also means speaking out and speaking against a strong tide of shame, stereotype, and literally centuries upon centuries of silencing.

Villa Tranquil, a unique transitional living opportunity, welcomes women between the ages of 18-65. Independently owned and operated by clinicians, our distinct program provides women with the clinical care, compassion, and structure needed for ongoing recovery. Empowering women to live their best lives, our beautiful home in Jupiter Farms, Florida is the perfect environment for post-treatment living. Call us today for information:  214-799-3080