Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley,
We, The Army of Survivors, are writing in reference to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing entitled “Dereliction of Duty: Examining the Inspector General’s Report on the FBI’s Handling of the Larry Nassar Investigation.”
The Army of Survivors is a non-profit organization founded by survivors of Larry Nassar committed to ending sexual violence in sports with the mission to bring awareness, accountability, and transparency to sexual abuse against athletes. As such, we pride ourselves on being a voice for change, and advocating for survivors at all levels of sport. Due to the nature of our founding, we have a duty to speak for athlete survivors, and for survivors everywhere.
The July 14, 2021 report from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on its investigation into the FBI’s handling of allegations of sexual abuse by Nassar proved that the FBI — a government institution that should protect its citizens — failed to protect children, including the brave athlete survivors who founded our organization. The report illustrates the need for accountability. From here, The Army of Survivors urges the DOJ to conduct a criminal investigation into the FBI officers who led an unethical and insufficient investigation.
In the time between July 2015, when the first complaint against Nassar was filed with the FBI, and August 2016, when the MSU Police Department received a separate complaint of sexual abuse by Nassar, approximately 70 young athletes were sexually abused. The lack of action by the FBI caused avoidable trauma for survivors.
We are concerned that institutions, including the FBI and those where Nassar was employed, lack the proper reporting procedures to appropriately address issues of sexual abuse. According to the report, allegations against Nassar were met with a lack of urgent response which enabled the perpetrator to carry on his abuse for another eight months. The fundamental errors in the investigation process must be rebuked, and steps need to be taken to ensure a failure of this kind does not happen again.
Our hope is that this hearing can provide answers and closure to the survivors impacted by Nassar, and will lead to strengthened procedures and policies surrounding sexual violence.
The Army of Survivors