The testimonies of victims of sexual harassment and assault continue to unravel on social media. After Hollywood actresses Reese Witherspoon and America Ferrera, who recently shared their own stories of Sexual Abuse, now comes another brave soul from the sporting world with her harrowing account.

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, 21, disclosed that she suffered abuse from former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nasser.

It went on for years, the California-born gymnast who has been described as feisty and fierce when it came to training for competitions.

Maroney is the pride of the US women's gymnastics team that bagged the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics held in London. Nasser, who served as team doctor for USA Gymnastics from 1996 to 2015, has been accused of molesting several female athletes.

Maroney’s voice is among the latest to join those of prominent women who have come forward to share their stories of sexual harassment and assault. Many of them aired their sentiments and stories through the "#MeToo” campaign started by actress Alyssa Milano.

Sexual abuse in entertainment and sports arenas

The recent admission of the young gymnast underscored that sexual abuse has long been happening not just in the entertainment scene but also in the sporting world. Many of the traumatic experiences shared – including those of Reese Witherspoon and America Ferrera – were kept hidden by the victims since they were then young and ashamed.

“Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera, who was sexually assaulted at the age of nine by a male adult, recalled that she would see the man who violated her for years.

Ferrera recently tweeted that the “abuse of power” needs to be called out, no matter how powerful the perpetrator. She added that everyone must publicly stand with the brave individuals who have come forward with their stories of sexual abuse.

Breaking their silence

Fellow actresses Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence can well identify with her. To this day, the “Big Little Lies” actress could vividly recall her disgust when, at 16, she was assaulted by a director.

Lawrence, among the most vocal and assertive among the new generation of actresses, recalled being objectified and being asked to line up for a photograph with other actresses who were required to take off their clothes.

Witherspoon, Ferrera, Maroney and lots of other women who have been victimized drew strength from the many stories of sexual harassment that have come out in the open. It has been cathartic and unifying.

The message of hope – that the next generation of women would not have to live with the culture of silence following sexual abuse by those who wield power -- was also conveyed.

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