tv The Faulkner Focus FOX News September 15, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
abuse. why are public servants getting away with this? this is not justice. enough is enough. i ask you please do all that is in your power to ensure these individuals are accountable for lying about my initial report and covering up for a child mole ester. i express by gratitude to the u.s. senate that from the beginning fought for us rather than against us. thank you and i welcome any questions. >> thank you. miss nichols. >> distinguished members of the judiciary committee. thanks for inviting me to speak. i thank you for your commitment
to our athlete's safety and holding accountable those responsible. i was gymnast 2 in the report. this did not happen to gymnast 2. it happened to me. i started gymnastics since i was 3 and dreamed of competing in olympic game. i was elite by the age of 13 and 14 i made the national team. traveled internationally for 14 years and in 2015 at the world championships representing our country where i won a gold medal. my olympic dreams ended in 2015 when i reported larry nassar's abuse. a competed at the university of oklahoma where i was an 8-time national champion. i reported my abuse to usa
gymnastics over 6 years ago. my family and i received few answers and why dozens of other girls at michigan state had to be abused after i reported. i am haunted by the fact that even after reporting my abuse, so many women and girls had to suffer at the hands. larry nassar. usa gymnastics and the fbi betrayed me and all of those abused by larry nassar after i reported. this is well documented in the report. my family and i were told by the former president to keep quiet and not say anything that could hurt the fbi investigation. we know there was no real fbi
investigation occurring. while my complaints with the fbi and larry nassar continued to abuse women and girls. the fbi issued no search warrants and made no arrests. from the day i reported by molestation by larry nassar i was treated differently byusag. they allowed larry nassar a chance to retire with his reputation intact. as the inspector general's report detailed. fbi agents failed to report to proper authorities and the speck agency in charge was seeking to become the new direct of security for the olympics. afterwards the fbi agents lied
to the investigators about what happened. this conduct by these fbi agency including the special agent in charge who are expected to protect the public is unacceptable, disgusting and shameful. this committee produced a report in 2019 titled the courage of survivors. a call to action. if found that the u.s. olympic committee and usag and the national governing body failed to respond to credible allegations against nassar. the report found that senior fbi officials lied to the inspector general engaged in serious conflicts of interest and tried to cover-up one of the biggest child sexual abuse scandals in the history of amateur reports. they uncovered serious
misconduct throughout the fbi, usag and others, no accountability has occurred. an important question remains. the most important question: why? why would the fbi agency lie to investigators? would have be the fbi not properly document evidence that was received? why would the fbi agent be interested in the usag presidency? the survivors of larry nassar had a right to know while their will being was placeed in jeopardy by these individuals who those not to do their jobs. for many happens of survivors of larry nassar this hearing is our last opportunity to get justice. we ask that you do what is in your power to ensure those who
engaged in wrongdoing are held accountable under the law. >> thank you. >> [silence]. >> [sighing]. i want to begin by thanking the judiciary committee including the chairman for their commitment to seeking the truth for hundreds if not thousandses who were systematically aboud by larry nassar and this committee's diligence to demand accountable from the federal law enforcement misconduct. i express my gratitude to the other brave survivors here today to continue to press for justice and reform. over the past few years, it's become painfully clear how
a survivor's healing is affected by the handling of their abuse. it disgusts me that we are still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability over 6 years later. if 2015 it was known that at least 6 national team athletes had been abused by nassar. there was even one of the athletes that was abused on film. given our abuser's access to children, stopping him should have been a priority. instead the following occurred. the fbi failed to interview parties in a timely manner. it took over 14 months for the fbi to contact me despite my many requests to be interviewed by him. the records established that steve penny, fbi agent jay
abbott and others worked to conceal nassar's crimes. penny arranged with the fbi to conduct my interview at the olympic training center when i was under the control of the usa gymnastics and olympic committees. penny flew to the olympic training center and made sure i was aware he was there. i felt pressured by the fbi to consent to nassar's plea deal. the agent diminished the significant of my abuse. it made me feel my criminal case was not worth pursuing. the special agent in charge of visiting nassar met penny for beers to discuss another job
opportunity. they didn't interview the survivors. i watched multiple high ranging officials resign or retire without explanation of how they contributed to the problem. some of whom were thanked for their service and rewarded with severance or bonus money. they complaints were mishandled by federal law enforcement officers who failed to follow their most basic duties. the fbi and others in usag knew that nassar molested children and did nothing to restrict his access. penny could have walked a few steps to file a report. with the indiana child protective services bah they
shared the same building. they allowed nassar to slip out the side door to continue his work. at a usag club and even run for the school board. nassar found more than 100 new victims to molost. it was like like serving innocent children up to a pedophile on a silver platter. why did none of these organizations warn anyone? usag and others have a long history of enabelling abuse by turning a blind eye. both organizations new of nassar's abuse long before it became public. although you would not know that by reading their press releases which would have you and the corporate sponsors believe that athletes safety comes first. we have called for a fully independent factual
investigation for years now. because i and these women's who sit before you know firsthand these organizations and their public statements are not to be trusted. they claim they want accountability but restrict which staff can be interviewed, which documents can be examined and claim attorney-silent privilege over and over again. the so-called investigation these organizations orchestrated were not designed to provide the answers we so critically need. why are we left to get when usag ignored reported abuse? was it to protects the value of the sponsor ships? the l.a. '28 bid. their own jobs? to avoid criminal liability? perhaps. why must we speculate when the facts are obtainable and the
stakes are so high. why would you federal law enforcement officers ignore reports of abuse by a doctor across state lines and country borders for a future job opportunity? or where were additional incentives and pressures? why must we spectulate when the facts are obtainable and the stakes are so high? just as it is naive to assume the problem only rests with nassar, it is unrealistic to think we can grasp the full extent of culpability without understanding how and why usag and usopc those to ignore abuse for decades and this led the fbi to disregard our reports of
abuse. we can't identify all enablers or determine whether they are still in positions of power. we just can't fix a problem we don't understand. we can't understand the problem unless and until we have all of the facts. it we don't do all we can to get these facts, the problems we are hear to address will persist. we are delewd -- deluding ourselves that we think other children can be spared the abuse i and others had to endure. thankul for your concern. i welcome any questions and comments. i will answer them to the best of my ability. thank you. >> thank you. i have been in a lot of
committee hearings. i can't remember compelling testimony like this morning ever before. because you had the courage to come up and tell the world what happened to you. it is heart breaking to think what you have been through. i thank you for being here. we have a job to do and we know it. it begins with this hearing. the accountability of the fbi and the department of justice and all of law enforcement when it comes to abuse cases such as though you have endured personally. there is an historic element here in that your audience include young people like yourself who are victims and survivors themselves. i have one minute and my question basically to the panel, anybody who cares to respond, what would you say to other young athletes who may be
suffering in silence or wrestling with the decision about whether to speak out? >> [sighing]. hmmm the first thing i would say to anybody watching in that is suffering in silence or has been through something traumatic is that i support them. i believe them. just be patient with yourself. be kinds to yourself and know that i am struggling too. i am still navigating how to heal from this. healing is a roller coaster. there are some days i feel betters and some days i feel like i am taking steps backwards. it's okay. we are all human and doing the best we k. i encourage whoever is out there listening tell someone when they feel comfortable. it's important to have a good support system and a community around you. if you don't have a good support
system, that's okay. it can take time to find a good support system want find the support you deserve. i believe you and i support you want you are not alone and i encourage you to ask for help. >> anyone else? >> they needs to know their abuse is enough. for so long all of us questioned just because somebody else was not validating us we doubt what happened to us. that is always going toic mathe healing process take longer. the second i gave that to myself is when i began to heel. to reach out to other survivors helps me heal and i want to help
others. >> you are. >> senator grassley? >> before i ask my first question. we have not forgotten why these people have not been prosecuted. i want to put in the record a letter i wrote the attorney general on july 16th to request that the justice department revisit the decision not to visiting the fbi employees who failed you. thank you very much. first of all. it's not enough just to commend you for your bravely of speaking out. by your speaking out. you are helping not only young women but wherever there might be the abuse you talk about. it's difficult in this public
setting to speak, that we felt that from you speaking out about it. it's got to be a hard job. thank you for coming forward. i am going to ask questions of any one of you or all of you. you decide how you want to respond. i hope at least one person will speak up. what can you tell congress and the government witnesses testing here today about the additional steps if any that we should take to ensure that we better protect child athletes? we heard from all of you about the agents and the fbi not doing its job or even lying to us. you heard about a bill that i am proposing. beyond those things, do you have anything you would like to add that congress should hear from you to protect child athletes?
>> i think it's really important to look at the connection between the fbi and usa gymnastics and the usa olympic committees. we can't believe there is a safer future for children unless he we understand everything that happened. usa gymnastics said they did full investigations but they were not independent. nothing should be off-limits. should go back that hasn't been done and that's something we asked for, for years. we would like to see a 3 organizations investigated and the scope of it matters. until we know all of the facts it's just guess work. i hope you guys feel the same way about the idea if we are speaking about children going into sports, i don't want to be
guessing they will be okay. i want to know with 100% certainty that someone looking the other way for us still isn't in a position of power. the investigation is crucial. until that, i don't have any faith that things will get better in the sport. >> okay. i will go to my last question. i hope this is not something so sensitive you don't feel you can talk about it. do you have any thoughts or inputs to share about the national nonprofit entity tasked by congress with handling allegations from amateur athletes? >> yes, i think safe sport -- i am trying to be respectful here. i don't like safe sport.
many survivors report their abuse and it's like playing hot potato. it's kicked over to somebody else and they don't hear back for a long time. a big issue is that safe sport is funded by the united states olympic committee. if you are safe sport and funded by the organization you are investigating they are not likely to do the same thing. it needs to be separate and safe sport needs a lot of work. i know from many survivors. my mom has reported things to safe sport and they would say we can't help you or ignore us or pass it on to somebody else. the person they pass it on to kicks it back to them. it's a complete mess want the priority doesn't seem to be the safety and well being of ashen.
-- athletes. it's protecting the usa gymnastics. >> i agree. in order to help there these to be a specific person in charge of protecting these athletes. it falls on them when they are not. instead of it being passed around and everyone like we don't know what happened. whose job was that? there needs to be a specific job for that. >> thank you. >> i call on senator lehay. we are trying to make this question period concise. do your best. >> i thank you all for having the courage to come here today. i can only imagine how painful
it is to relive these experience s. i think that the resilience and the perseverance you are showing the world today is incrediby admirable. i hope that young survivors who see this who felt powerless to tell their stories will feel this is an example they should tell it. it has to be for more than just telling the stories. obviously, i have been on this committee a long time. i can't think of anything so moving. we will talk about senators talk about accountability. but what does genuine accountability look like to you?
when will justice be done for the injustices you suffered? i would like to hear from all of you. which will justice be done and what does accountability look like? >> [sighing]. >> do you want to try that one? >> yeah, sure. first going back to i probably sound like a broken record. i am going to try and hopefully today will be the one that this time i say it, it actually happens. for me accountability looks like -- first obviously this should have never happened. one time being abused is too many and one child abused is too many. a complete and full independent investigation of the fbi and the usa gymnastics and the usa olympic committee. then we will know the answers of who should be held accountable.
from needs to be when we think about it new usa gymnastics and new usa olympic committees, survivors need to be in the room. we need to feel like we are not adversaries. we need to feel like our voices matter. that they care and want to be a part of the change we so desperately want. i am not trying to speak for them but i imagine we all feel it's crazy to try to wrap our head around. all we are asking for when a child goes to gymnastics or to school they can be spared abuse. the fact we are treated like adversaries and we have been victim shamed online over and over again and made to feel like we don't matter by these
organizations. i never want another child to feel like that again. so often survivors already question themselves. they distrust how they feel. that's something that i went through. especially because the fbi pedestrian me feel like my abuse didn't count. it wasn't a big deal. i remember sitting there with the fbi agent and him trying to convince me it was not that bad. it took me years of therapy to realize that my abuse was bad. it does matter. i think it's really important to also have education and prevention in the sport as well. i don't see these organizations doing enough to have every staff member and every athlete and parent and person that walks into a gym i believe should be educateed to recognize emotional and physical and sexual and
mental abuse. if we don't have an investigation and education and prevention this nightmare will happen over and over again. >> anybody else scare to answer? i think you all agree with that? >> yes. >> so do i. thank you very much. >> thank. senator? >> mr. chairman, i want to say -- okay. >> one more to add. we want to see them be federally prosecuted to the fullest extent. they need to be held accountable. >> thank you. >> as a former prosecutor i agree with that. thank you. senator cornyn. >> i want to thank the 4 survivors joining us today and tell you how much i respect and
admire your courage. for sounding the alarm on a system that abused and neglected but was supposed to protect you. your stories are difficult to tell. i know. it's extraordinarily important for us to hear it. as hard as it is for us to hear. i believe that your courage will inspire a generation of women to speak out against those who have abused them. we all want you to know we are proud of your courage and the example you set for other young women. i sincerely hope your courage in speaking out will be a step to right the wrongs that led to these injustices to ensure these mistakes never ever be repeated. thank you for shining a light on this issue.
for advocating for victims across the country. you are not alone. because too often those allegations are down played, slow walked or ignored. now our job is to make sure that your sacrifices, your trauma and your nightmare have not been in vain. >> thank you. senators feinstein. >> thank you. mr. chairman. for me this was a deju-vu. i listened to these young women. i saw their courage. i saw their willingness to step forward. i am hopeful we will be able to take some action. i would like to present a letter that is sent to the chief
executive officer of the u.s. senator for safe sports which has 8 specific things on behalf of senator murray and myself. if i am may put that in. >> without objection. >> i really hope that no one ever goes through the horrors you have experienced. i hope that when and i believe we will take action, this is enough for you to put this behind you in your life. and that you can lead a life that is just as full and happy as is possible. that we do our job and see that we prevent this from ever happening again. i just want to thank you so much. i have had the occasion to sit down with you at least two of
you around my conference table. and see the tears. those days are now behind. i am convinced that this senate will act. i thank you so much because you have played a big role if and when we do in making this happen. >> thanks. senator cruz. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank each of you for being here. being here this morning was not easy. each of you inspire millions across the globe. millions look to your athletic achievements. you stood on the biggest stages of the world and done extraordinary things. things that take your breath away. that amaze children and adults. you were able to do that through
tens of thousands of hours of incredible hard work. yet that work pales compared to the courage it took to come here today and tell your story publicly. you could have stayed silent. you could have avoided the scrutiny, the pain, and i will say watching you testify this morning you could see the pain in each of you. sharing that story. that courage that you have demonstrated by going public and reporting this abuse, my shining a light that courage matters. it's making a difference in the lives of others. the system failed you. what happened to you was grotesque. it was criminal and abusive and it was evil. i am the father of 2 little girls who are both athletes not at the level of each of you. what you experienced is every parent's nightmare.
when your child when you entrust your child to coaches, doctors or trainers you trust your kids will be taken care of not and abused or targeted. they want to thank you for calling out the system that failed you. i want to thank you for the kids that won't face abuse because of your courage. each of you, simone biles you are from texas. the expire state of texas is immensely proud of you and proud of all of you. i have to say right now. at home, there is a little girl or a little boy who is watching this. who may be facing their own
personal hell. maybe facing abuse whether it's sports or some other context. a monster who is doing unspeakable things to them. that little girl or little boy, i hope sees your courage and realizes that she can come forward and say something too. that he can call out the person who is hurting him. thank you for your courage. it makes an enormous difference. >> thanks. senator whitehouse? >> i want to first thank our colleague senator bloomenthal and compliment our witnesses for the stunning clarity and grace of your testimony here.
your quest for accountability is 100% justified. thank you for pursuing it. we will endeavor to help you in that pursuit. it's astonishing and disturbing how many adults let you down. and failed at one of the most basic responsibilities of adulthood. which is to look out for children and take care of them and behave properly. and so on behalf of adults everywhere, we owe you an apology. what you have done today is impressive. it will make a difference and i am grateful to you for stepping up. >> thanks. senator holly is on by web.
you will see him on the screen momentarily. i hope. senator? >> [silence]. >> well, perhaps senator cotton is on virtually. we will search the ether. senator cotton? >> well, senator klobuchar. >> excellent. thank you very much all of you. like my colleagues i want to express my gratitude to you. as a fellow minnesotan i am grateful to you maggie for sharing your story with the committee today. all of you and the other women and girls who makeup the gymnastics communities inspire us. i was up at 4 a.m. watching this
live. watching the olympics live this time. to think when you fall off the balance beams and get back on or you grab those bars, when you still have an injury or you perform and floor exercise that no one knows was possible, to all of us watching, that's courage. something we could never imagine doing. the real courage is what you are doing today. your bravery is on full display. as a former prosecutor, i know first hand. i know how hard it is to testify before a room of strangers and you are doing it in front of the u.s. senate. what you are doing is part of your own healing. it's part of healing for kids you willener meet. little girls and boys that maybe
are aware of your fame. they may not ever be aware of what you are doing today. i think you have heard it from so many of my colleagues that have been leading on these bills and i am proud to co-sponsor them. more accountability must be done. coming forward today you will make that difference. we can make sure on your behalf this never happens again. thank you. for representing the women and girls of usa gymnastics on the world stage and most importantly so well today. >> we will try one more time with senators cotson. are you with us? >> yes. thank you. i want that thank each of the witnesses. the four of you have done reparkable things.
you have been compet iters and athletes and what is more impressive is your courage coming forward about the abuse you faced. you were not just taking on one terrible abuser but taking down an entire system. this is the first time that we have had hearings on this issue. in 2017 and 2018 the senate heard from others who faced similar abuse including jordan weaver is now is the head-to-head of the arkansas gymnastics. this system failed the women it was supposed to protect. the report makes it clear that individuals who enabled that
system and should be headline accountable. i look forward to hearing about how that will be remedied. thanks for your sharing your story. >> thank you for holding this hearing. each of you are adults now. you are grown women. you demonstrateded your strength and determination and your persistence in tfting -- testing here today. you were victimized as young girls. we failed you. the u.s. olympic committee and those in federal law enforcement who were responsible for taking your horrible testimony and translating it into action to protect other children and secure justice for you. thank you for the courage it
takes to testify and to insist on justice. thank you to senators for your persistent engagement in this. we will hear from the director of the fbi and the inspector general about has been found and what action will be taken next. i want to briefly share one of the most concerning parts of what you shared with us today was about your initial interviews with the fbi. where and how it was conducted. you were left alone as a teenage girl to have an interview by phone with an fbi agents who suggested what were you testifying too was not that bad. the personal responsible for usa
gymnastics might be present and might have comp myselfed that interview. oo compromised that interview. the whole way the interviews were conducting is awful. that's been the experience for millions of victims of child abuse over decadeses in the united states. there has been a child network of child advocacy centers that brings together child welfare professionals and law enforcement to make sure the victims are only interviewed once. they are interviewed in appropriate settings and in a way that respects and recognizes their abuse and ensures your horrible experiences with those initial interviews and it was compounded
by you having to speak again and again. we are working on that system. senate blunt and i will reauthorize this is double the funding for a national network of 880 of these child centers across the country. i just. ed to share with you and with any victim of abuse or the families who know about their child's abuse who might be watching, what happened to you needs not happen again. there are professional trauma informed child welfare centers across the country to seek justice. miss, can i see what i justust d impacted you. thanks for your courage and persistence and your demands for justice. thank you. >> thanks. i believe senator bloomenthal is
next. >> you are heros and stars and role models for many young men and women across the country. your courage is impressive to all of us. your grace and daring as people and your determination not to be defined by the abuse you suffered and to seek help which should be also a model to others. a number of you made reference to the therapy that you have sought which also takes courage. you have been involved in a sport that involves injuries, physical injuries and the abuse you suffered involves emotional
injuries that you are seeking to treat as you would any physical injury. i would like to ask you. i know at least one of the athletes in the room was abused after july 2015. let me ask each of you, you can answer yes or no whether you know of athletes that were abused by larry nassar after july 2015 during the 18 month period which the fbi did nothing. you can just say yes. if you want to tell me how many if you know. if not just yes or no. >> yes. >> go ahead. >> yes. kalie is here today and he was abused after i spoke out.
>> yes. >> yes. i know many of them. i also want to be clear that in the time that i had reported my abuse to usa gymnastics i followed up many, many times. my mom would follow-up for me a lot of times because i am sure as you can imagine it was so hard for me. but also i was so scared because of the positions of power. we followed up so many times. we were told that they were working on it. the most important thing was to keep it confidential and not tell anyone. they told me not to talk about it with others. give them breathing room. i thought it was being handled. i can't express when you are
told by the president of the usa gymnastics penny they are handling it it. i didn't know they would cover it up like they have. they told me they are talking to the fbi and they should reach out soon, i believed them. i can't tell you how horrifying it is to meet young girls who look up to me who watched me compete in the olympics and tell me that they went to see nassar because of me and my teammates because they wanted to see the olympic doctor. in his office he has some photos of us. they went to see him because they thought it was so cool to have the same doctor as us. that's "one more thing" of the hardest and most devastating parts for me. survivors suffer with guilt and shame. takes everything i have to work on not taking the blame for
that. it's horrific. it's horrible to meet them and know over 100 victims could have been shared abuse. all we needed was one adult to do the right thing. >> thank you. >> thanks. senator huroda. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i join all of my colleagues in thanking each of you for coming forward. we know there are young kids who look up to you as a fantastic athlete and gymnast. as they get older i hope they realize the courage of you coming forward to tell us your stories. the experience of horrific abuse you suffered. for people who suffered abuse it's hard to talk to anybody.
it was hard enough for you to report your abuse and be specific but then to be put aside and get the feeling that the people that you relied on to do their jobs, they thought it was not a big deal. that compounds the horrific abuse that you experienced. you are right. to demand better from the fbi and the usa gymnastics and others including us in this hearing today. to show people that reports of abuse should be taken seriously. those who come forward should be believed. your courage is shining a light on a culture of complicity and exploitation and abuse of power. it inspires others to come forward.
so i acknowledge how much courage it took for to you report in the first place. to have to undergo that horrifying experiences. to tell purchase strangers what happened to you and not to be taken seriously. that's what we have to change. you have to undergo therapy but we should prevent these abuses from happening in the first place. we need to hold the people who abuse accountable. thank you very much for coming forward. >> we probably have another 10 or 15 minutes. i don't know if we need a break? anybody looking for a break? >> we are good. >> you are good? >> yes. >> great. >> senator booker. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you as well for being
here today. it took courage. i am not sure how many people realize the burden on survivors in america to come forward and recall what happened to them. it's not just recalling the trauma and the violence and the pain. it's being forced to relive it. for that i am deeply grateful you would sit in a room of strangers in front of powerful people and again relive that trauma. i know you didn't come here for our kind words or our proudness or our empathy. you came here for justice. you came here for action. i heard words literally for years. you are still fighting. you are fighting against a systemic problem in our country that is not just in sport. we have seen it from church
institutions to the boy scouts. you talk about pedophilia all the way to sexual assault. we see it in workplaces. factory floors. you all as athletes are doing something in a tradition that is what helped call the conscience of our country forward and expand our moral imagination to stop injustices of other sports from people who endured outrageous realities like billy jean king who used their platforms not to get individual attention but to change this nation and make it more just. i am grateful we have such bipartisan determination in this
town. we have bipartisans determination to deliver what you came for which is action. we all know that the road to change, real change, systemic change not just in sports but in our culture that tolerates such a high level of this sort of violence, that is going to take time. one thing that rings in my head that the only thing necessary for injustice to continue is for good people to do nothing. you all have seen that firsthand. i heard you before be asked the question by media and in this institution today. do you have any words for other survivors? i would like to simply ask the question: of to you answer to put the point in the light where it
belongs. it should not take something directly happening to us to trig or empathy and action. maybe i would like to know if you have any words for americans who are in a country where this violence happens every day. is there something you would like to say to us who all have to understand that we are playing a part in a culture that allows this to happen? >> [silence]. >> i would like to say that i personally don't think that people realize how much experiencing a type of abuse is not something one just service in the -- suffers in the moment. carries on for the rest of their
lives. being here today is taking everything i have. my main concern is i hope i have the energy to just walk out of here. i don't think people realize how much it affects us and how much the trauma impacts us and for every survivor it's different. healing looks different for every survivor. the aftermath looks very different. just to paint a picture i used to train some days 7 hours a day when i was training for the olympics. processing my abuse affected me so much. it is still something i struggle with that i can remember when i first shared my story publicly for a very long time. i didn't have the energy to stand up in the shower. i would have to sit on the floor and wash my hair. i could not even go for a 10
minutes walk outside. this was someone i competed against in olympic games. i for get what i am saying. i feel like my mind is not working. i feel like i have no energy at all. i am 27 years old. my 80-year-old grandfather has more energy than i do. i often wondered is this -- will i ever feel better? it has affected by health. in the last couple of years i had to be taken in an ambulance because i passed out. i am so sick from the trauma. it might not be after a hearing like this. it hits me out of the blue. it's important for people to understand how much even if we are not crying how much we are all struggling and how much survivors are struggling. people say why did you come forward now? it's terrifying to come forward.
the fear of not being believed and it affects us so much. it's impossible to say the words out loud. i want people to know it. for a lot of us especially myself this might take me months to recover. i want to make that clear. it's important for people to start recognizing you may never know what someone else is going through. for people who have been through trauma, it's really hard. if someone is watching this and feels tired that is a survivor and doesn't know why they are having certain issues, you are not alone. i experienced the same thing. hopefully in time we can feel better. >> thank you, senator booker. i believe senator blackburn is available by webex. senator?
>> i would just say thank you to each of the women for being there today and the power of their stories and their word. brief quick question. [ inaudible ] >> senator blackburn, can you hear us? >> yes, i can hear you. >> we missed your three questions. >> yes. three questions. number one, what are the reforms that you would like to see take place? number two, if you do not trust safe sports, what we would like to know, who is a trustworthy, or is there an organization or an individual that has your trust to be the go to?
and the third thing, did the fbi ever offer you a female agent who could walk with you through this process? >> thank you, senator blackburn. i'm going to let the panel respond to you and then we have two more witnesses -- pardon, two more members after you. thank you. >> i never had a female agent after telling that story. i just -- i'm exhausted. >> understood. anyone else want to respond? >> there was a female agent in the room with me at the otc in 2016. most of it was filled with men asking questions. i honestly didn't know what i was walking into. they told me i had a meeting with the fbi. didn't tell me what it was about. i was just pulled in a random hotel room and they just started asking questions.
i was never prompted. >> senator padilla? >> i think i had a female in the room at the olympic training center, but i can't say for sure. >> i feel like we all have the same people. >> if i recall, my direct communication was with a male in the room. >> okay. senator padilla? >> good morning. i want to start by thanking chairman durbin and all those who have made this hearing possible and to the panelists. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. i admire and respect each one of you for
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