If you have been a long time fan of gymnastics, you would know that US Olympic gold medalist Dominique Moceanu is very vocal about the physical and emotional abuse she endured at the hands of long time US head coaches, the Karoylis.

She had to go through what people usually do and say when victims come out and talk about their abuse; they disbelieved her, said she is doing it for attention, they themselves had good experience so she must be lying, that person would never do such a thing...you name it.

In the past week, Moceanu used Twitter to voice her support to the gymnasts, who fell victim to USAG's failure to protect them from sexual assault at the hands of disgraced team doctor Larry Nassar.

She has also called people to support and believe the victims and not to stand on the side of the alleged abusers.

This is really good and we need more people like her, because unfortunately nothing is ever gonna change unless those in power are pressured to do something to eliminate the horrific crimes committed against the innocent.

But things took an ugly turn when it came to former Soviet gymnast Tatiana Gutsu's allegation.

In a MeToo post, Gustu alleged that six time Olympic champion Vitaly Scherbo raped her during the Stuttgart cup in 1991 and that then fellow gymnasts Rustam Sharipov and Tatiana Toropova knew about it and did not stand by her side.

Moceanu at first tweeted her support for Gutsu.




But then through screenshots that was circulated online, it appeared that Moceanu wrote a supportive comments on Sharipov's Facebook status where he denied the accusation. Moceanu's comment heavily discredited Tatiana's story.

Before I post her comment, do you remember what happened when the sexual assault allegations against Larry Nassar came out?

People were quick to leave supportive comments on Nassar's Facebook and since it never happened to them and they knew him well, then these women must be lying. And like we said at the beginning of the post Moceanu herself had to endure the same thing when she talked about her abuse story.

But her supportive comments on Sharipov's Facebook showed she has done the same exact thing as those whom she fought against.

The "He would never do such a thing"

You would never knowingly allow abuse to happen.

The "You are a decent person so you wouldn't do this"

"I do believe Rustam when he says he wasn't aware of any of the abuse because he would never cover for anyone who did this kind of sick thing. He's the most honest and decent human being."

The "victim is lying let's point out their flaws in her story"

I've heard all sides of this story and something isn't right.

The "it is true there are victims out there but this woman is not one of them"

As many know I stand with any woman (when true which is most of the time) who has been victimized and comes forward from abuse.




You could say " he is her friend and friends should stick to each other"; people who do bad things have friends and family whom they are nice to like corrupted politicians and criminals - also unfortunately good people can make bad decisions when dealing with victims since they grew up in rape culture (that's why raising awareness is much needed) , and Moceanu's comment was 100 percent about supporting Rustam and 100 percent discrediting Gutsu, which heavily contradicts her tweet about urging people to support the victims.

She also defended him because he is a "good friend" not because she was there when it happened and knows the truth.

It is worthy of mention that Rustam was not accused of rape, Gutsu only said that he did not protect her at that time. Hence, we do not know what exactly happened.

1984 US Olympic gymnast Kathy Johnson made a brilliant comment, she showed compassion and support for Gutsu and at the same time offered a very helpful advice that could definitely sort things out.





Now, remember when we said 'things took an ugly turn', this time it took an even uglier one.

After the screenshot was seen by many gymnastics fans, they called Dominique out and tried to point to her that what she has just done, contradicts her message and makes her a hypocrite since she did not follow what she preached when one of the people she knows was involved.

Dominique defended herself saying that knows that Rustam is 100 percent innocent and that she supports both parties while stressing that her track record speaks for itself.





She has also stated that her comment was misinterpreted,



and launched an attack on those who are trying to make her understand that her comments are very harmful to the victims of assault and does not help the case.



Her accusations led her fans to bully those who called her out like Lauren Hopkins of Gymternet website.









In response to Dominique's attitude, Lauren came forward with her MeToo story which sums up why what the former gymnast has done, is very problematic and unjust.








Now, this is an opinion post that does not aim at attacking Moceanu but rather showing you how victims get silenced and that you need to be very careful on what you are stating and saying because it could be very hurtful to the victims and you could find yourself part of the problem.

Kudos to Hopkins for sharing her story, which hopefully makes people understand how victim shaming works, and hopefully Moceanu can cool down and think outside the box.

Please note that, there were several tweets on Moceanu's and Hopkins side that got deleted.


Written by Gigi Farid

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1 comments:

  1. It makes no sense to believe Gustu was raped but not believe , because you are friends with someone they couldn't possibly have been in the room.

    Kathy Johnson's comments are just as bad. Sit down with Boginiskaya? Is she a rape counselor ? And why the hell is Hopkins involved in this? I know why because she is desperate for attention.

    Tatiana already admitted in an article she could have been wrong about Rustam being in the room.

    Rape victims do get their story wrong sometimes but Tatiana had what, 25 years to get it right before she said a word yet she chose to make this statement anyway. She should have stayed focused on the individual that committed the crime but instead decided to bring others into it. Others she already admitted may not have been in the room or to drunk to know what was going on.

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