Testimonials and Validating Voices

This quote is from the closing arguments in the Larry Nassar case by Angela Povilaitis, Michigan Deputy Attorney General:

“The second lesson I take away and hope others do, anyone can be a perpetrator, anyone can be a serial sexual abuser. This defendant stole cheated and lied. He stole these victims’ innocence and lied about his behavior, and he cheated parents and the community and the world of the trust they held in doctors, prominent physicians and prominent community members.   

Experts teach on this issue. Russell Strand, a retired Army criminal investigator, teaches on offender dynamics and behavior. Strand talks about how abusers have three personas. The first is the public one for all to see. The second is the uninhabited persona, what you only let others close to you see. We all have those two personas. But the third is the hidden and secret one. It’s hidden in the mind and the eyes and beliefs of the perpetrator. And that persona is often hidden well.

Serial child molesters hide among us. We know that this defendant had a good persona, a good public persona at least. He was the good guy, the goofy guy and Olympic doctor and medical school professor and gymnastics god. He was a religious and pious man, a father, a husband, a friend, a school board candidate, a man of honor and passion. So kind and giving and always approachable, he never charged for his services and he saw patients basically anywhere.

But we know without a doubt after the seven days, what we on this team have known for 16 months, that Nassar’s third hidden persona just as strand discusses, that he is possibly the most prolific serial child sexual abuser in history. A selfish child molester who spared no one.

Nassar hid behind the outer if aside that is fake and not real, and people believed were real. They came to his defense and believed that they were he was the man they wanted him to see and not the monster hiding beneath. As a society, our response cannot be that he couldn’t do this. Or that I knew his character and I knew he wasn’t capable of this kind of crime. It’s because no one wants to see it. The only person who sees this side are his victims. Then the perpetrator goes back and shows only what he wants the world to see. This is how he got away with this for so long and got people to believe him over the many, many, many victims who reported. And anyone can be an abuser”.

All testimonials are pulled from evaluations:

“People continuously ask me how I became so passionate about changing culture, and why I shifted from criminal investigations to advocacy. There are a lot of reasons for my transition, but my primary answer is and always has been, “Have you met Russ Strand?” His teachings and philosophy have been one of the most biggest influences of my chosen profession. He’s exactly why my transition to advocacy was so smooth. He’s a tremendous speaker, and passionate advocate for people. If you are looking for a guest speaker, or ways to improve your agency’s response to acts of violence – I wholeheartedly encourage you to give SHIFT LCC a call.”

“Just like everything else you’ve done this too will be an awesome and exciting adventure!!! You have and continue to positively touch crime fighter’s lives everyday. I, for one, am grateful for your classes, patience, and expertise!”

“…after all these years, you are still the best in the business! As one of your former students, thank you for the knowledge and wisdom you imparted to all of us. Best wishes for much success in all your future endeavors! Hooah!”

“Extremely knowledgeable and hands on practitioner of material w/ vast experience. This aspect solidified the material being presented. Instructor has also demonstrated this confidence in the subject matter and this expertise as a practitioner… a greatly appreciated and shared experience by those w/ identical career paths (military & law enforcement careers)”

“The passion you have for your work really resonates through your presentation and greatly impacts the participants – you found your calling and it shows! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.” 

​”I really mean this when I say, every detective needs to hear your presentation and change the way they interview victims.  It would have a huge impact on the cases they investigate!”