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Survivors of Nassar abuse create organization to support, advocate for sexual assault victims

grace french in front of white house
Courtesy of Grace French
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Founder Grace French has testified about her abuse at the hands of Larry Nassar at MSU board meetings, in front of the Michigan Legislature, and at Senate hearings in Washington.

Seven months ago, the world watched as dozens of survivors stood up in Michigan courtrooms to share their stories of abuse by the former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar.

One of those survivors, Amanda Thomashow, said to Nassar, “You didn’t realize you were building an army of survivors who see you for what you are: a sexual predator.”

This statement inspired another survivor, Grace French, to create an organization called "The Army of Survivors."

French joined Stateside to talk about the organization's plans and her own experience being abused by Nassar. She said she first realized that she'd been abused by Nassar while listening to other survivors share their testimonies during the sentencing hearing in January. 

"I didn't really realize that until a lot later when the statements were coming out, and heard stories that were so similar to my own. And then something clicked, and I was like, that wasn't right," French said.   

Listen above to hear French's hopes for The Army of Survivors, and what changes the group wants to see when it comes to laws and education around sexual assault.  

*CORRECTION: A previous version of this story referred to The Army of Survivors as a nonprofit. That is incorrect as the organization has not received status as a 501c3. The error has been corrected in the story above. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled Nassar survivor Amanda Thomashow's last name. The error has been corrected in the story above.

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