Sinas Dramis partner and Michigan sexual assault attorney, Jim Graves, has represented numerous Sister Survivors of the disgraced MSU sports doctor, Larry Nassar, since 2016. He recently had the privilege of nominating his client, Amanda Thomashow, for the Foundation for Improvement of Justice, Inc. award.
On September 29, 2018, the Foundation for Improvement of Justice honored sexual assault “Sister Survivor,” Amanda Thomashow, with its prestigious Paul H. Chapman award. The Foundation for Improvement of Justice is a not-for-profit institution whose mission is improving local, state, and federal systems of justice in the United States. Lansing attorney, Jim Graves, who represented Ms. Thomashow and other survivors in the largest sports sexual assault case in history, also attended the award ceremony at the Four Season Hotel Atlanta.
“Amanda persevered through incredible odds. She survived and thrived post victim-blaming and non-belief by a powerful Big Ten University. She helped others feel safe and strong enough to speak their truth,” Graves says of his client. “It was an honor to nominate her for this award and to be in attendance as she received this incredible distinction.”
Amanda was an easy choice for nomination by Graves. She gave powerful testimony recently before the Michigan Legislature in support of new legislation expanding the Statute of Limitations for bringing civil suits for sexual assault. She has spoken out at rallies and symposiums for the purpose of empowering other survivors and educating the public. Amanda is truly one of the most predominate forces in this courageous movement to end campus violence against women. Recently, Amanda and her Sister Survivors received the Humanitarian Award from the Foundation for Global Sports Development and the ESPYS Award for Courage.
Earlier this year in an interview, Amanda said, “My voice didn’t matter four years ago, but maybe this time, at least, my voice can be part of a chorus that makes change.”
Please join us in recognizing and congratulating Sister Survivor, Amanda Thomashow, for her courage, advocacy, and ongoing pursuit of justice.
Mr. Graves, along with the rest of the Sinas Dramis attorneys and staff, wish to congratulate Ms. Thomashow as the recipient of this year’s Paul H. Chapman Award. She will be honored and receive the award on Saturday, September 29, 2018, at the Four Seasons Hotel, Atlanta. Ms. Thomashow is recognized in particular for the bravery and perseverance she portrayed as a sexual assault survivor of Larry Nassar, as well as her continued dedication to other victims and advocacy efforts.
Little did she know, Ms. Thomashow was not alone. Nassar had been sexually assaulting hundreds of patients under the guise of treatment for years. In 2017, a federal lawsuit was filed, resulting in a historic settlement, and earlier this year, Larry Nassar was tried and convicted.
Following her powerful victim impact statement at the January, 2018 sentencing, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said,
“You are a survivor. Your scars are healing. Your voice is no longer silent. I have heard it, the world has heard it. You are not alone. You not only have the other survivors but you have a world who is in support of all of you. This cannot happen. You are ensuring that others will not be violated. Not just by this defendant but by other predators. Things are going to change. You’ve been heard.”
Since then, Amanda has made it her mission to lift up other victims of abuse. Through her efforts and those of fellow Sister Survivors, societal changes and institutional shifts are happening across the country. Ms. Thomashow is well-deserving of this recognition and we wish to thank her for her bravery, activism, and determination.