The gymnasts who heroically confronted Larry Nassar over sexual assault are fighting for a bill to protect other survivors.

Studies have shown that children who were sexually abused normally wait until the ages of 48 to 52 to report their abuse.

In order to account for this, 37 states introduced legislation to extend the amount of time sexual abuse victims can file lawsuits against their abusers and organizations that have covered up the abuse in 2019.

But in the state of Texas, the language in a new bill, which would increase the amount of time victims of abuse can take legal action against organizations that covered up abuse was surprisingly removed.


Not everyone is having it.

Jordan Schwikert, Alyssa Baumann and Tasha Schwikert, three of the gymnasts who accused Larry Nassar of sexual abuse and USA Gymnastics of covering up that abuse, want the language to return.

They appeared in front of aTexas Senate committee to make sure future generations are protected in ways that they weren't.

“I decided to testify today because I wanted to make sure that what happened to me and my sister never happens again," Schwikert said.

In the state of Texas, those who were sexually abused as children can file a lawsuit against their alleged abuser and the organization involved for up to15 years after they turn 18, or the age of 33. House Bill 3809 would raise the statute of limitations to 30 years after they turn 18, or the age of 48.

However, the law was amended, removing organizations from the longer statute of limitations. And yes, there was a reason for it. "Sexual assault is not something organizations do, it's what individuals do," said Rep. Craig Goldman who both introduced and amended the legislation. "Any employer in the state can employ somebody and not know that they have done this in their past."

But the point of the law isn't to punish organizations who don't know what their employees are doing behind closed doors. It's to prevent organizations from covering up abuse, thus allowing it to continue.

Under the law, victims would still have to provide evidence that the organization covered up their abuse.

The bill passed in the House by 143-0, but now there's a move to restore the bill to its original language. “Texas lawmakers have a moral duty to allow survivors like myself to hold everyone who played a role in the abuse accountable," Schwikert said. “Exempting institutions creates a world in which the cycle of abuse can continue. It's not enough to just hold abusers accountable — we must also look at the institutions and what they failed to do."

Photo by Anthony Lanzilote/Getty Images

This bill needs to become law.

In case you need a reason as to why this is important, Larry Nassar is currently doing time for child pornography and sexual assault. He was accused of sexually assaulting 265 women while pretending it was medical treatment. It's all sorts of messed up that he got away with it for as long as he did.

Hopefully, we won't have another Larry Nassar in the future, thanks in part to the brave gymnasts who are willing to speak out and to fight for the rights of others.

Photo by RENA LAVERTY/AFP/Getty Images

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

RELATED: A gay couple's pride flag helped give a young teen the courage to come out to their family

One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

RELATED: A homophobic ad was placed next to a pizza shop. They messed with the wrong place.

He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.