Kansas Senate honors Olympic gymnast bringing light to childhood sexual abuse
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Senate honored a central figure in a major case of sexual abuse of young female athletes.
In light of recent discussions to create a bill that removes the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases, the Kansas Senate invited Terin Humphrey to be recognized, Thursday afternoon.
Humphrey revealed in 2020 that she was sexually assaulted by Larry Nasser, a U.S. women’s national gymnastics team doctor accused of victimizing hundreds of children and young women.
“I was 30 before I came out and sometimes I’m not even ready and I’ve experienced the biggest stage in the world and I’m still hesitant to come out and talk about it. So I want them to understand that you’re just not mentally ready at that age,” says Humphrey.
Lawmakers presented Humphrey with a plaque recognizing her athletic accomplishments, and she was joined by other survivors of childhood sexual abuse looking to advocate for reform.
“I think it shows that this is a national issue that there are I believe about 17 other states that have removed the statute of limitations for civil cases and about 30 or so that have done so for criminal as well,” says child sexual abuse survivor, Kim Bergman.
In the four-year process to seek statute of limitations reform, survivors say this year is the furthest they’ve gotten.
“You know child sexual assault is an issue that people don’t know about. They don’t think about it, they don’t want to think about it so when we came to them they were very polite ‘thank you for being here’ and then that was it, and this year they’re asking us questions. They’re listening to our stories and asking us questions like what’s your concerns about the bill and having those conversations. It’s a much deeper level than before and we’re meeting with leadership. That didn’t happen before,” says child sexual abuse survivor, Lisa Patterson.
I’m excited that it’s finally being heard and this group has been amazing. We’ve been very resilient and we’re not going to stop until it’s passed,” says Humphrey.
Copyright 2023 WIBW. All rights reserved.