Kayla Harrison uses Olympic stage to takedown sexual abuse

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Olympian Kayla Harrison Wants to Raise Awareness About Child Sexual Abuse

American Kayla Harrison is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, but her story is not just one of victory, but one of survival.

Harrison was the first man or woman from the United States to win a Gold Medal in Judo at the 2012 Olympics in London, and she cemented her legacy as one of the best judoka ever with another Gold Medal win in Rio.

But a second gold medal isn't the only thing she will be adding to her resume. The 26-year-old is co-authoring her first book.

The story She was sexually abused by her first coach for 3 years, starting when she was just 13-years-old.

Photos of Kayla Harrison through her career

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2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison through her career
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2-time Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison through her career
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Victory Ceremony - Women -78 kg Victory Ceremony - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA poses with her medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Victory Ceremony - Women -78 kg Victory Ceremony - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA kisses her medal. REUTERS/Toru Hanai FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Victory Ceremony - Women -78 kg Victory Ceremony - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) of France, Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA, Mayra Aguiar (BRA) of Brazil and Anamari Velensek (SLO) of Slovenia pose with their medals. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates with supporters after winning the gold medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates with supporters after winning the gold medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) of France compete. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) of France compete. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates winning the gold medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) of France react. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates winning the gold medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates winning the gold medal. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates winning the gold medal. REUTERS/Toru Hanai FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates winning the gold medal as Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) of France reacts. REUTERS/Toru Hanai FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA celebrates winning the gold medal as Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) of France reacts. REUTERS/Toru Hanai TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Final - Women -78 kg Final - Gold Medal Contest - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil -11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Audrey Tcheumeo (FRA) of France compete. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Semifinal - Women -78 kg Semifinal Contests - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Anamari Velensek (SLO) of Slovenia compete. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Semifinal - Women -78 kg Semifinal Contests - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Anamari Velensek (SLO) of Slovenia compete. REUTERS/Toru Hanai FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Preliminary - Women -78 kg Elimination Rounds - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Zhang Zhehui (CHN) of China compete. REUTERS/Toru Hanai FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
Judo competitor Kayla Harrison poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California March 8, 2016. "When I fight, I have an all Eminem playlist: I like all Eminem all the time," said Harrison. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Judo competitors Marti Malloy (L) and Kayla Harrison pose for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California March 8, 2016. "When I fight, I have an all Eminem playlist: I like all Eminem all the time," said Harrison. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
2016 Rio Olympics - Judo - Quarterfinal - Women -78 kg Quarterfinals - Carioca Arena 2 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 11/08/2016. Kayla Harrison (USA) of USA and Abigel Joo (HUN) of Hungary compete. REUTERS/Toru Hanai FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.
Judo competitors Marti Malloy (L) and Kayla Harrison pose for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California March 8, 2016. "When I fight, I have an all Eminem playlist: I like all Eminem all the time," said Harrison. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Jul 14, 2015; Mississauga, Ontario, CAN; Kayla Harrison if the United States (white) fights Mayra Aguiar (blue) in the women's judo gold medal final during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Mississauga Sports Centre. Mandatory Credit: Matt Detrich-USA TODAY Sports
Olympian Kayla Harrison arrives for the Glamour Magazine Women of the Year Awards in New York November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SPORT JUDO)
Kix Brooks and Olympian Kayla Harrison arrive at the 46th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Henderson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SPORT JUDO OLYMPICS)
Gold medallist Kayla Harrison of the U.S. celebrates with silver medallist Britain's Gemma Gibbons (L) and bronze medallists France's Audrey Tcheumeo (R) and Brazil's Mayra Aguiar (2nd R) during the awards ceremony for the women's -78kg judo competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT JUDO)
Gold medallist Kayla Harrison of the U.S. listens to her national anthem during the awards ceremony for the women's -78kg judo competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT JUDO)
Gold medallist Kayla Harrison of the U.S. celebrates during the awards ceremony for the women's -78kg judo competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT JUDO HEADSHOT)
Kayla Harrison of the U.S. celebrates after defeating Britain's Gemma Gibbons in their women's -78kg final judo match at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon (BRITAIN - Tags: OLYMPICS SPORT JUDO)
Silver medalist Mayra Aguiar (L) of Brazil, gold medalist Kayla Harrison of the U.S. (2nd L), and bronze medalists Akari Ogata of Japan (2nd R) and Yang Xiuli of China pose during an award ceremony for the women's judo -78 kg at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo September 9, 2010. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT JUDO)
Kayla Harrison of the U.S. poses with her gold medal during an award ceremony for the women's judo -78 kg at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo September 9, 2010. REUTERS/Toru Hanai (JAPAN - Tags: SPORT JUDO)
Silver medallist Catherine Roberge (L) of Canada, gold medallist Kayla Harrison (2nd L) of the U.S., bronze medallists Yalennis Castillo (2nd R) of Cuba and Mayra Da Silva of Brazil pose on the podium after their women's -78kg judo contest at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo (MEXICO - Tags: SPORT JUDO)
Kayla Harrison of the U.S (R) competes with Hitomi Ikeda of Japan during their under 78kg women's elimination bout at the World Judo Championships in Paris August 26, 2011. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT JUDO)
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At the age of 16, Harrison moved from Ohio to Massachusetts to live with other athletes and train with Jimmy Pedro and his father, Jim Pedro Sr. Harrison is open about her struggle with depression, saying she tried to run away several times and contemplated suicide.

"You wouldn't see a two-time Olympic champion. You wouldn't see a Kayla Harrison that can look you in the face if it weren't for the Pedros because when I came to them I was broken," Harrison told NBC Sports in Rio. "And they built me back up and they made me believe in myself when I didn't."

SEE ALSO: Some US colleges are beating entire countries in total Olympic medal count

She credits the Pedros for getting her a psychologist and for helping her come to terms with what happened and how it does not define her.

"They are just truly good people, amazing people. I owe them my life. I owe them my career and for me it's an honor to be able to carry on their legacy and do this every day with them."

Harrison started her Fearless Foundation after the London Olympics because she found that there was no major worldwide organization for survivors of sexual abuse.

"The first step for me is to educate," she told NBC. "So it's something that people don't want to talk about. It's something that they don't want to talk about, they don't want to hear about, they don't want to think about. But 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18, and those are just the kids that say something."

SEE ALSO: Mother of American Olympian had her suitcase blown up by Rio authorities

"So I'm writing a book with a psychologist, and my goal is really for it to be in the 7th grade health class curriculum. I want every child in America to read about what grooming looks like. My story will be a guideline."

Harrison said she hopes her book will be used to educate intermediate school students about the warning signs and safe people and places they can go to for help.

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