date of testimony: January 17th 2018
location of testimony: Lansing, Michigan
age at time of first abuse: 11
I stand before you a woman of faith. I have been blessed with God’s protection and the strength to speak today. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here and to share my experience.
As many of us here are victims of sexual abuse which was suffered under the care and at the hands of Larry Nassar, I do not feel the need to discuss in detail his despicable and sickening behavior which I endured as a young child and into my teenage years, being one of his regular patients at MSU and as a competitor for USA Gymnastics. Instead,
I am here to gain closure and express the things which I feel may be necessary for me to move forward with my life and to continue healing.
While it has not been easy to find the strength to be where I am today, I am here as a survivor. I am no longer a victim. I have wasted so much time trying to put into words the effect that Larry Nassar has had on me and how to express the amount of damage that he has done to me and how negatively he has impacted my life.
However, I am here today because I refuse to let Larry Nassar take anything more from me as he’s already taken enough. Doctor Nassar knowingly used his position and his authority to take advantage of me and so many young and innocent children. Being physically violated and robbed of my innocence and my childhood does not even begin to describe the emotional damage and the lifelong challenges me and so many girls will face as a result.
As a child I may not have had the courage to — or even the understanding to know exactly the depth or severity of his actions. However, I am no longer a child. And, further, I have never been more disgusted or disappointed by any human being.
Although ultimately it is not up to me to judge the actions of others, I can finally rest knowing I have done my part in making sure Larry Nassar will never have the chance to hurt another child. I will find comfort knowing that he will finally be forced to take accountability for what he has done and will suffer the consequences for his actions in this lifetime and beyond.
THE COURT: Ma’am, thank you so much for your words and for being here. Can you — and you don’t have to answer this — how old were you when this began?
MS. BARTERIAN: Well, I began as a patient when I was, I believe, 11, maybe younger. Yeah.
THE COURT: I’m really proud of you for refusing to let him take anything else from you. That tells me that you have started to heal and, you’re right, it will take a long time. That healing started really today when you publicly came forwardand said, no more. That’s really huge, and the world is watching and your message has not only been sent to this court but to others who feel they may not have a voice and to other predators and hopefully legislators. You may change some laws. I’m not sure of the outcome of this but I do know that you have done your part and done it well and have been a champion at doing it. Thank you so much for being here.
MS. BARTERIAN: Thank you.