Judge Rosemarie Aquilina
We have all read about the gropers, the sexual harassers and the extent to how this issue is pervasive in every industry. It is shocking on one hand yet not surprising on another but what is upsetting is the more that comes out, the more numb we become to the onslaught of revelations. Just as there are killings in high schools and workplaces on a daily basis and it is beginning to feel like the norm.
This past week, the trial of the Larry Nassar was presided over by Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. Nassar hid under the cover of Michigan State and the USA Gymnastics organization. There has been a lot of conversation around the Judge and if she crossed the line in her powerful sentencing or allowing 160 women come forward with their stories of sexual abuse by Nassar. She opened the courtroom to anyone who cared to speak.
I applaud Judge Aquilina. She gave these young women, who have been abused by Nassar, the opportunity to speak out about what happened, in a safe setting of the courtroom and the face their abuser. I do not believe for one moment that this opportunity will be the catalyst to healthy lives or just the therapy they needed but it certainly couldn’t hurt each of them to be empowered over their abuse.
I am not tying harassment to sexual abuse of minors but what the Judge did was to allow something that has been so under the covers for so long become public. Hopefully, she gave others who have been abused be it sexual harassment or sexual abuse, that watching Aquilina give victims a platform to speak out will hopefully bleed into others who are holding their tongue about something that has happened to them.
I hope that this is just another hope for the crack in the shield that abusers have been hiding under for longer than we can imagine.