February 15, 2018

Dear Sister Survivors

The stories we want to hear the least are the ones we need to hear the most.

To my fellow Sister Survivors and Army Of Women. I’m so proud of every one of you! You showed no fear and looked evil in the eye for the very last time!

As a former USA Gymnastics gymnast, who also happens to be a victim but now can call herself a Sister Survivor. It’s our duty to stand up and speak our truth. We’ve been silenced for way too long and it’s time for MSU, USAG, and the USOC to sit down, be quiet and listen to what we’ve been trying to say since 1997.

As athletes, it’s in our DNA to fight to win and to support our fellow teammates and our fellow athletes no matter what the reasons may be.

But, when more than 160+ survivors made the most difficult choice a person could make it’s time to listen. These “Army Of Women” and “Sister Survivors” had to relive and tell their most personal experiences out loud to strangers and the media about what this so-called “doctor” did to them when they were just a child… A Child! It is something you can’t put into words. While many choose to face our monster, some of us choose to stay anonymous and some of us choose to give our statements to the judge for her to read. The one thing remains the same — when we put faces to numbers, and names to “Jane Does” — we put back the voices in the voiceless!

Just knowing that this monster in human form will no longer see the light of day, or even go near a helpless and vulnerable child again, will make everything worth it. He’s right where he belongs for all eternity! It’s going to be a long road ahead I would know, I’m going through it myself along with you. But with our Army Of Survivors, we can in some way, in some time, find peace. This will never leave us, we know that, but having our growing support system we will get through this and we will learn from one another how to cope with the pain and try to make sense of this new normal that was unfortunately put upon us. Peace does exist – it lives in everything we hold dear. Life kicks you around sometimes, it scares you and it beats you up. There’s a day when you’ll realize you’re not just a survivor, you’re a warrior. You’re tougher than anything it throws your way. Just remember that!

Much love and support from a fellow athlete, gymnast, sister, survivor, and WARRIOR!

Margaret Twitty