Child Abuse Council speaks out about sex-abuse victims facing abuser Larry Nassar

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MOLINE, Illinois-- Kyle Stephens says she was six when Larry Nassar began sexually abusing her. When she was twelve, she told her parents, and they confronted him.

Stephens is the first of many survivors to confront her abuser. Nassar was a trusted doctor who treated athletes for injuries. In court this week, it wasn't the first time Stephens shared details of her abuse.

"Due to complex details I won't get into here, my parents chose to believe Larry Nassar over me," says Stephens.

Angie Kendall from Moline's Child Abuse Council understands those complex details.

"More than 90-percent of abuse happens at the hands of someone the family knows, loves and trusts," says Kendall.

It's called grooming.

"Being that person who seems too good to be true, inserting themselves into the family unit. You can trust me," says Kendall.

Once the abuser earns that trust, the abuse starts like in Stephen's case and many others.

"It is a misnomer that people think children falsely report or tell false stories. That's absolutely untrue. We have to believe children," says Kendall.

Other survivors will testify over the next few days.

"I am no longer broken by you. Everyday I grow a new strength and look into the mirror and see a strong unbreakable person," says Jade Capua.

More than 140 female athletes, including several Olympic gold medalists, have accused Nassar of sexual abuse. He's plead guilty to ten counts of sexual abuse with cases going back as far as 1998 including girls under the age of 13. He's already serving 60 years for child pornography charges.

"I honor them for that strength and bravery and really hope people can see this story and listen to the children in their lives so our young children today don't have to be the brave women telling the story tomorrow," says Kendall.

Testimonies are expected to go on until Friday.

 

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