Nassar survivor demanding change in culture

Posted at 11:55 PM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 23:55:31-04

EAST LANSING, Mich -- Repressed confusion, frustration and anger for the hundreds of survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse. Many are still fighting to see lasting change.

For survivor, Larissa Boyce, and many like her, the courage to confront her abuser has only fueled a fight to prevent any institutional culture from harboring or enabling a pedophile like Nassar.

Boyce read two victim impact statements during Nassar's sentencing hearings in Ingham and Eaton counties. She’s also working with Michigan lawmakers to change how sexual abuse is reported and prosecuted in the state.

She’s making it very clear that she’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Boyce said, “Gymnastics taught me so many life lessons and got me through so much.”

The sport that brought her so much pain, is now pushing her to become a catalyst for change, urging people to speak up about abuse until someone listens.

It’s something she wishes someone would have done for her more than two decades ago.

Now that Nassar is behind bars for life, Boyce has shifted her focus to his alleged enablers at Michigan State University, who she says, turned a blind eye to countless red flags of sexual abuse.

She said, “They need to know how to correctly report that and I don’t know that they’ve been properly trained, obviously they haven’t been properly trained.”

Her husband, Adam Boyce said, it’s time for MSU to take responsibility and to learn from their mistakes.

“If we learn anything from this, it’s that we can’t pledge a blind allegiance in people, just because we think they’re really good.”

Boyce says she and other survivors have been at constant odds with the MSU Board of Trustees and is calling for all of them to step down.

“I think they need a complete revamping of all of their policies and they need someone who is actually going to follow-up and follow through, to make sure the new policies are being taken seriously and that people know what those policies are and that they follow them.”

That call for accountability and change, echoed by Boyce’s family.

Her father, William Michell, said, “MSU could be the leader. First of all for MSU to make a statement and be an example of how to be more sensitive and understanding and caring about these athletes.”

Until that happens, Boyce says she’ll continue to do her part, by raising her voice to make sure no one forgets.

“It’s never too late to say something. You never know who else that person has hurt,  so keep talking about it, bring it to the light.”

When FOX 17 spoke with Boyce in February of 2018, she said she would like the chance to meet with interim MSU President, John Engler to discuss ways to create a safer campus.

No word yet if that meeting is in the works.

An MSU spokesperson provided us with the following information in regards to policy changes they’re working on, especially when it comes to MSU employee’s reporting sexual abuse.

Read the full report:  Michigan State University: taking action to foster a safer campus.