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USA gymnastics sexual abuse case alerts parents about signs and patient rights

Local rape crisis counselors are sharing what parents should watch out for and the rights they should know about when it comes to doctor visits. (WCCU)

In the wake of the USA gymnastics sexual abuse case, local rape crisis counselors are sharing what parents should watch out for and the rights they should know about when it comes to doctor visits.

"You lied to me and manipulated me to think that when you treated me, you were closing your eyes because you had been working hard when you were really touching me -- an innocent child to pleasure yourself,” Olympic gold medalist, Aly Raisman said Friday during the hearing of former USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

More than 100 women accused Nassar of sexual assault and abuse.

“He did it time after time, appointment after appointment convincing me that it was helping my hamstring injury,” former Olympic gymnast, Jordyn Wieber said at Friday's hearing.

The Olympic gymnasts were just children at the time of the abuse. Following the case, local rape crisis counselors are saying parents need to know their rights, as well as their children's.

"If the parent sees something that they think is unusual or out of bounce they should stop whatever is going on immediately,” executive director of Rape Advocacy, Counseling and Education Services, Adelaide Aime said.

Aime said it is important for parents to walk their children through doctor visits beforehand, letting them know what is and isn't acceptable.

"Telling them we're going to go to the doctor and maybe the doctor is going to examine everywhere including where your bathing suit goes, and I’m going to be in the room,” Aime said.

When a child reaches a certain age, they may want their own privacy.

"If the child doesn't want the parent in the room you can request a second person like say a nurse can be in there with the doctor if that would give everyone peace of mind,” Aime said.

Parents should tell their kids to speak out if they feel uncomfortable.

"The more the child is empowered to ask questions then they're going to be able to think critically about what's going on,” Aime said.

Parents should also talk with their kids after the doctor visits to keep the lines of communication open. Aime said parents also have the right to request a different doctor for any reason if they are uncomfortable with the doctor giving the exam. Aime also said it is never to late to seek for help if a child was sexually abused or assaulted. To learn more about RACES call 217- 344-6298.

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