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Rachael Denhollander 1st Nassar Accuser 'Last 2 Years Have Been Very Painful'

12/15/2018 12:20 AM PST

Rachael Denhollander, 1st Nassar Accuser, 'Last 2 Years Have Been Very Painful'

EXCLUSIVE

This is Rachael Denhollander -- the very first woman to come forward with sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar

She's a hero. A survivor. And, she was brutally honest when we asked her how she was holding up in the wake of all that's transpired since she went public with her story. 

"It's been really hard. The last two years have been very painful," Denhollander told us. 

"My husband has been an incredible support system, my family has been an incredible support system and I'm grateful for that. Not everyone can say that."

We asked Rachael if she thinks she'll ever really completely recover from the abuse -- and again, she didn't mince words. 

"I think that something we really need to understand is that the scars still remain. Sexual assault changes the course of a person's life. While there is a great deal of hope after abuse, it's absolutely devastating."

Of course, Simone Biles also is speaking publicly about how she's still dealing with the trauma -- telling 'GMA' this week, "I still go to therapy and I'm on anxiety medication now."

The bottom line -- Denhollander, Biles and other survivors want officials in gymnastics and other sports to be proactive in protecting young athletes from predators like Nassar. 

"The real test is what happens when the allegation is in your own community. When it happens against your favorite sports player, your favorite sports team, your favorite coach."

"Are you willing to listen and to look for the truth then?"

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