Angelina Jolie is showing her support for McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman and those who testified at this week’s Senate hearing on the FBI’s handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.
On Thursday, the actress and director, 46, shared a photo of herself posing with some of the former and current athletes who appeared at the hearing to share their stories, including Maroney, Raisman, Maggie Nichols, Kaylee Lorincz, and Jessica Howard.
“I was honored to meet with some of the brave US gymnasts who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday,” Jolie captioned the picture on her Instagram. “I’m in awe of their courage and commitment to preventing future failures to investigate abuse.”
“As Aly Raisman said in her testimony, ‘Over 100 victims could have been spared the abuse. All we needed was one adult to do the right thing.’ Sending support and respect to them, and to all who are reliving this trauma so that system reforms can occur,” she continued.
Jolie added that she was able to meet with the women as she was on Capitol Hill “engaging with Senators on the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and FBI reforms, including better protections for abused children, non-biased forensic evidence collection, trauma care, and judicial training.”
She ended her post with the hashtag “#StopViolenceAgainstWomen.”
In January 2018, Nassar, who was the former doctor for USA Gymnastics (USAG), was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison, after more than 150 women and girls claimed he sexually abused them over a 20-year span.
A Senate hearing was held on Wednesday regarding the Justice Department Inspector General report that said the FBI failed to properly respond to the 2015 sexual abuse allegations against Nassar in their investigation.
During the hearing, Maroney, Raisman, Nichols and Olympic gymnast Simone Biles alleged that the FBI made false statements in the official report, which they say, failed to document the survivors’ claims.
“I am also a survivor of sexual abuse. And I believe without a doubt that the circumstances that led to my abuse and allowed it to continue, are directly the result of the fact that the organizations created by Congress to oversee and protect me as an athlete, USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), failed to do their jobs,” Biles said in her testimony.
“I don’t want another young gymnast, Olympic athlete or any individual to experience the horror that I and hundreds of others have endured before, during and continuing to this day, in the wake — of the Larry Nassar abuse,” Biles said, adding, “To be clear, I blame Larry Nassar and I also blame an entire system that enabled and perpetrated his abuse.”
Jolie’s visit to Capitol Hill comes ahead of the release of her book with Amnesty International and human rights lawyer Geraldine Van Bueren, titled Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth.
The Oscar winner, who has long been an advocate for children around the world, previously told Reuters that she hopes the book will help those who are vulnerable to “fight back.”
“So many children are in harm’s way across the world and we’re simply not doing enough,” she said. “These are their rights, decided years ago based on what would make them healthy, balanced, safe and stable adults.”
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.