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Advocacy

 
 
 

In January 2018, along with over 150 women, Melody identified publicly as a survivor of Larry Nassar and dove into advocacy work, primarily focused on sexual assault and abuse education and prevention. Along with her sister survivors, she received the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year 2018 honoree, and Michigan Women's Hall of Fame 2019 Inductee. In the role of Website Design and Development Chair, Melody helped launch the Army of Survivors, a nonprofit that fights against sexual violence in athletics. Most recently, she shared her story and perspective on institutional abuse in the HBO documentary, At the Heart of Gold, and in the Audible series, Twisted: The Story of Larry Nassar and the Women Who Took Him Down. Now based in Los Angeles, CA, Melody transitioned from working in content marketing to found Christians for Feminism in May 2019.

 

Ingham County Sentencing

Melody was originally known as Victim F in the criminal case against Larry Nassar, until outside pressure and circumstances forced her to drop her charges in May 2017. As part of Nassar’s plea deal, Judge Aquilina ensured all survivors had the opportunity to make a victim impact statement, making it possible for Melody to have her day in court. From September 2016-December 2017, she participated in the case and with news reporters anonymously. Nassar was sentenced to prison for up to 175 years.


Rally for Resignations

In Spring 2018, Nassar survivors partnered with Michigan State University students and faculty to call for the resignation of MSU board members due to their misconduct and mishandling of the Nassar case. Below is a video of Melody’s speech at the protest.


ESPYS

“We are honored to recognize the courage of these women at The 2018 ESPYS, to acknowledge the power of their voices, and to shine a very well-deserved spotlight on what speaking up, fighting back, and demanding accountability can accomplish. They have shown us all what it truly means to speak truth to power, and through their bravery, they are making change for future generations.” — Alison Overholt, vice-president and editor of ESPN The Magazine


Glamour Women of the Year Honoree

“The Sister Army has pushed for legislation including some 40 bills in Michigan and a new federal law that expands the statute of limitations to report sexual abuse to 10 years from when a survivor identifies it (formerly, the clock started when the abuse occurred)…Following the case, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network saw a 46 percent increase in calls to its National Sexual Assault Hotline.” — Liz Brody


At the Heart of Gold

“At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal, reveals a dangerous system that prioritized winning over everything else, including protecting young female athletes. Through interviews with dozens of survivors, as well as coaches, lawyers, journalists and Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, the film exposes an environment in which young women spent their youth competing for victory on a world stage, juxtaposed against a culture where abuse was hidden, and lives were forever damaged.” — HBO


Twisted

“New York Times best-selling author Mary Pilon and reporter Carla Correa chronicle the scandal from its inception, tracking the institutions that Nassar hid behind, the athletic culture that he benefited from, and the women who eventually brought him to justice. In this Audible Original, you’ll hear directly from these people—including the voices of coaches, parents, industry leaders, and the survivors themselves—as they grapple with the truth about Nassar and describe what it took to bring him down.” — Audible


Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma

Melody accepted the Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in the Media on behalf of At the Heart of Gold producers, David Ulich and Steven Ungerleider. The award was also given to child abuse expert and CHILD USA CEO, Marci Hamilton. Melody joined Marci on a panel following the screening of the film.


United Nations Survivor Town Hall

Rise, an international civil rights organization, hosted the first ever UN Sexual Violence Survivor Town Hall during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Along with survivors from around the world, Melody spoke at this event to educate world leaders and announce the "Worldwide Sexual Violence Survivor Rights United Nations Resolution” that is planned to be introduced in January 2020.