LETTERS: On sexual assaults, voting records and learning from history

Speaking out against sexual abuse

Larry Nassar was convicted of repeated sexual abuse against women and young girls and sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison. This case has garnered national media attention for many reasons, most of which surround the shocking number of victims and the involvement (and silence) of USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee. Statistics show that more than half of elite athletes will be sexually abused during their training. How difficult must it be to an Olympian to know that sexual abuse is the price they must pay to be able to showcase their incredible talents on the national playing field.

As a former prosecutor in the Special Crimes Division of the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office, I witnessed the horrible and tragic truths that bring Nassar’s evil to the RGV. Children of all ages, not just athletes, are being sexually abused daily — and everyday people allow it to happen by not giving children the tools to speak out. We simply must make sexual abuse awareness a priority for all children. We cannot cheer for them on the field but stay silent when it comes to their bodies.

There are so many wonderful people trying to help the abused and bring justice to victims, including my former chief, Assistant District Attorney Hope Palacios, and criminal investigators across the RGV, but we must all join in the efforts to end abuse.

Our children may never wear the red, white and blue of an Olympic uniform, but sadly, there is a very real chance that they may be abused. Take this opportunity to start a conversation with every child in your life and stop sexual abuse before it starts. Just as we cheer for the United States and its athletes every four years, let us celebrate and honor these incredible women by drawing from their strength to speak out against abuse.

Savannah Gonzalez, Edinburg

Voting record statistics questioned

I’m not sure exactly where in the Faith & Freedom Coalition that Jeanne Smith found her information regarding voting records of members of Congress for her Friday letter, “A lot of ‘hot air.’”

Govtrack.us shows the following:

>> U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, missed 173 of 9,624 roll call votes from January 2005 to present, which is 1.8 percent and is on par with lifetime records of other congressmen.

>> U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-McAllen, missed 20 of 744 roll call votes from January 2017 to present, which is 2.7 percent and is on par with lifetime records of other representatives.

>> U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, missed 92 of 4,656 roll call votes from January 2003 to present, which is 2 percent and is on par with lifetime records of other senators.

>> U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, missed 216 of 1,497 roll call votes from January 2013 to present, which is 14.4 percent and is considered much worse than the lifetime records of other senators.

This is very different from what Ms. Smith stated.

Kathy Sornson, Alamo

Learning from history

As per the article to the evidence presented in court to try the murderer of Irene Garza, I ask: Why not do a full story and focus on what went wrong in this murder case that took place in 1960 and finally just went to trial? We can learn from this case to prevent a repeat of the same in other similar cases today. This a case where the people we trusted the most betrayed the victim and us, the public citizens.

Rafael Madrigal, Pharr

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