September 21, 2021
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) – A Northern Virginia nonprofit is calling for community action to help fight institutional abuse.
It comes less than a week after gripping testimony made by Olympic gymnasts who said the FBI and USA Gymnastics officials turned a “blind eye” to former Team Doctor Larry Nassar.
“It took the FBI over 14 months to contact me despite my many attempts to ask to be interviewed by them,” gold medalist Aly Raisman said at the Senate hearing.
Now, SCAN of Northern Virginia is launching a new Institutional Abuse Prevention program, aimed at preventing abuse in youth-serving organizations, like USA Gymnastics.
“We’re tired of excuses because we know how we can do better,” Program Director Laurie Tasharski told Fox 5 Monday. “If you have a reputation that you won’t harm, that you’re above reproach, you’re actually more likely to have a situation where a child can be harmed in your care.”
Tasharski added that the program focuses on prioritizing children’s safety over the reputation of organizations or people in power. And she believes places like schools, healthcare facilities, and recreation centers will be eager to get involved.
“We want to say, look, research tells us what you can do, and we’ll help you do it,” Tasharski said.