Sports & The Arts

We decided to include sports and the arts under one heading, because they both often involve celebrities or powerful people who get access to a child through the child’s extracurricular activities. Whether it is the talent agent in Hollywood or the coach in the Olympic system, children have been caught in a web of abuse that is tightly tied into their passions and ambitions. It is a toxic stew that can reinforce the child’s confusion and tragically delay reporting.

Both of these arenas have been resistant to reforms that would prioritize the well-being of children. Getting an abusing coach removed from the sport has bedeviled many, including Sarah Powers Barnhard. She and two other survivors disclosed the abuse by their volleyball coach, Rick Butler, in a 1995 Sports Illustrated story. He was removed, but was permitted to return 5 years later, and he was still coaching as late as 2018 and seen outside a competition in 2020. Of course, the world watched as the victims of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar stood up bravely in court to read their victim impact statements. Their struggle to get justice and real reforms in sport continues. There is a great deal that still needs to be done, and CHILD USA’s Game Over Commission is focusing on these issues.

Celebrities accused of child sex abuse have been able to harness their extensive social media and public relations assets to attack their victims. The victims have had to withstand horrific trolling on social media just for telling their truth, and there has been little recourse available. These brave survivors like Corey Feldman are having to mount an expensive –both financially and emotionally—public defense just to stand up for the victims in Hollywood and the industry generally. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have a long way to go before victims have justice and not just a forum to speak. I hope you will see from this list the need for ongoing advocacy and concern about the risks to our children in dangerous settings.

— Prof. Marci Hamilton, Founder/CEO of CHILD USA

Books

Our selected books are typically available in public and/or university libraries. The link provided is a path to purchase if you so choose.

What is a Girl Worth by Rachael Denhollander

The book focuses on Rachel Denhollander’s story of telling the public about the behavior of Larry Nassar.

Coreygraphy by Corey Feldman

The book is an autobiographical memoir about Corey Feldman’s journey to heal and discuss the abuse he has experienced.

The Penn State Report by Louis Freeh

The book is a comprehensive report about the cases related to Gerald Sandusky and his abuse of Penn State football players.

Fighting Back by Kayla Harrison

Olympic Champion Kayla Harrison discusses her story of sexual abuse by her judo coach.

Godspeed by Casey Legler

The story chronicles Olympic swimmer Casey Legler and her experience of isolation during her Olympic career and childhood.

Game Over by Bill Moushey and Bob Dvorchak

The book depicts the way that institutions and leaders at the highest level of Penn State helped protect Gerald Sandusky and hide his behavior.

The Girls by Abigail Pesta

The book gives voice to the stories of the countless girls who were abused by Dr. Larry Nassar for decades.

Fierce by Aly Raisman

The autobiography chroniciales Aly’s journey from a mommy & me gym to the Olympics including honest discussions of the difficulties along the way.

Troublemaker by Leah Remini

The book discusses Remini’s eventual split from the Church of Scientology as a result of her search for the truth.

Little Girls in Pretty Boxes by Joan Ryan

This book provides a real view of the physical and emotional toll on young girls who work to achieve Olympic dreams.

Chalked Up by Jennifer Sey

The high pressure coming of age story explains how Jennifer Sey lost sight of her physical and emotional well-being and eventually learned how to prioritize both through a journey of self acceptance.

Articles

 

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CHILD USA Reports on Abuse and Neglect of Athletes

The webpage contains multiple reports and letters to Safe Sport about abuse on child athletes.

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Recommendations for Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Youth-Serving Organizations: Implications From an Australian Royal Commission Review of the Literature By Kaufman et al.

This article provides a brief review of critical risks associated with CSA victims, perpetrators, and organizational settings, as well as highlights risks particular to specific types of youth-serving organizations and risks that are present across these organizations.

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USA Gymnastics Isn't Talking About the Past—But Maybe It Should!

Article focuses on survivors of Dr. Larry Nassar and the institutional support that they lacked.

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Michigan State Can't Bury Its Role In The Largest Sex Abuse Scandal In Sports History

Dvora Meyers explores the repurcussions Michigan State faces after the Larry Nassar scandal.

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Powerful perpetrators, hidden in plain sight: an international analysis of organisational child sexual abuse cases by Marcus Erooga, Keith Kaufman & Judith G. Zatkin

There is virtually no literature on child sexual abuse committed by powerful perpetrators, who, use position, reputation, wealth and/or power, to become influential members of their organisation. This article discusses seventeen cases relating to youth serving organisations, and its findings revealed a number of critical differences between powerful perpetrators and other child sexual offenders described in the literature.

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Beauty for Ashes: an Olympic Swimmers Long Journey to Freedom by Kim Rodenbaugh Lewallen

The story discusses the abuse and dark times in Olympic swimmer Kim Rodenbaugh Lewallen’s quest for liberation.

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One Year After the Nassar Sentencing, the Survivors Continue to Inspire Change

Article focuses on survivors of Dr. Larry Nassar and the institutional support that they lacked.

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Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Reveals Sexual Abuse by Team Doctor Larry Nassar

Article focuses on survivors of Dr. Larry Nassar and the institutional support that they lacked.

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U.S. Gymnast Maggie Nichols Says She Was Abused By Larry Nassar, Dissuaded From Coming Forward By USA Gymnastics

Article focuses on survivors of Dr. Larry Nassar and the institutional support that they lacked.

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McKayla Maroney Knew She Had To Stick Up For Herself

High profile athlete Maroney joins list of Nassar complainants.

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FBI Interviews Top U.S. Gymnasts in Intensifying Sexual-Abuse Investigation

Members of the Olympic team have been questioned about former team doctor Larry Nassar after the initial allegations languished for at least 10 months.

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USA Gymnastics Brass Long Knew of Abuse Claims, Ex-Employee Testifies

Former employee claims USA Gymnastics officials were aware of sexual misconduct allegations agains Nassar.

Sexual Abuse in Sport: A Model to Prevent and Protect Athletes

The research paper provides a model for protecting children against childhood sexual abuse. 

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IndyStar reporter Tim Evans talks about Larry Nassar

In the video interview Reporter Tim Evans discusses his work to uncover the story of Dr. Nassar’s abuse.

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Larry Nassar was sometimes arrogant, sometimes nervous, during only interview on sex abuse

Articles discusses Larry Nassar’s punishment after the guilty verdict.

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Larry Nassar receives final criminal sentence, a 40- to 125-year term

Article discusses Larry Nassar’s punishment after the guilty verdict.

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Jordyn Wieber sues USOC, USA Gymnastics and Michigan State over alleged abuse by Larry Nassar

Article discusses Larry Nassar’s punishment after the guilty verdict.

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What Larry Nassar's Victims Wanted Us To Know

Judge collects impact statements from Nassar victims.

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Parents of Elite Gymnast Sue U.S. Olympic Committee in Sex-Abuse Claim

Lawsuit marks escalation of a festering scandal concerning years of alleged abuse by a former U.S. gymnastics team doctor.

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DOJ Investigating Sex Abuse Within Olympic Organizations

Inquiries have arisen in the wake of the sexual-abuse case against former national gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.

Documentaries & Videos

 

At the Heart of Gold

The 90-minute documentary discusses the accusations surrounding Dr. Larry Nassar and how his behavior managed to continue for years without discovery.

Available on Amazon Prime, HBO, and Hulu.

First Game Over Commission Hearing

The first commission hearing focused on sexual abuse in elite athletes to determine how Dr. Larry Nassar was able to abuse young girls for so long. The recording runs for 6 hours.

Silent No More film by Sarah Klein

The 38-minute film focuses on Sarah Klein and her journey to discovering that her treatment by Dr. Larry Nassar constituted abuse.    

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3W-sLagE4k

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdtzGtKXc-E

Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcTn1jvuxMg

A Panel Discussion on Broken Trust: Sports in the #MeToo era

The 90-minute panel discussion focused on the way the power dynamics within sports and the duties of sport authorities to their athletes. 

Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland is a 2-part documentary (4-hours total) that shares the stories of two young boys who claimed to be sexually abused by Pop star Michael Jackson.

10-minute Video of Aly Raisman on The View

Raisman speaks about her feelings after Nassar’s guilty verdict and her vow to continue pushing for accountability.

The Tale

This 2-hour work of fiction tells the moving story of a girl who is abused by her horseback riding instructor.  It is an important work in the field crafted by filmmaker Jennifer Fox.

Available on HBO, Hulu, and YouTube

Coached into Silence

The feature-length documentary interviews a group of young athletes who were all failed by sports authorities and left vulnerable to abuse.

Athlete A (upcoming Netflix Documentary)

The 1-hour 40-minute documentary follows reporters of the Indianapolis Star as they work hard to discover information about Dr. Larry Nassar’s abuse.

Surviving R. Kelly

This 5-part documentary series centers on the stories of young women who were identified, groomed, and abused by Pop star R. Kelly. 

Available on Netflix, Google Play, and YouTube

16-minute Video of Aly Raisman’s Victim Statement

In her powerful remarks during Dr. Larry Nassar’s trial, Aly Raisman speaks out against the inaction of the USOC and USAG.

Materials Relating to Game Over: Commission to Protect Youth Athletes

 

childusa.org/gameover

This link provides information about the Game Over commision and links to reports and the database. 

childusa.org/game-over-hearings/

This link provides information about Game Over hearings including locations and panel members.

gameover.childusa.org

This link takes participants directly to the gameover database.