Bridie Farrell is an advocate on behalf of survivors of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation. She is a frequent commentator in the media and a distinguished speaker about issues related to child abuse.
Ms. Farrell was a nationally ranked speed skater by age 13. She competed in the 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2014 Olympic Trials and held three American records: 1500m, 3000m, and 3000m relay.
Beginning at age 15, Ms. Farrell was sexually abused by speed skating teammate and Olympic silver medalist Andy Gabel, then 33. In 2013, 16 years after the abuse ended, she disclosed the trauma she endured on National Public Radio. Gabel subsequently acknowledged that he had engaged in an “inappropriate relationship” with an athlete who was not yet 18.
In 2017, Ms. Farrell founded NY Loves Kids, a nonprofit focused on supporting and advocating for survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation. A top priority for Ms. Farrell and NY Loves Kids was passage of the Child Victims Act in New York State, legislation to extend the statute of limitation for survivors of child sexual abuse, thereby allowing victims to seek access to a justice system from which they had previously been time barred. In 2019, the Child Victims Act (CVA) passed the New York Senate and Assembly and signed into law by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo. Building on the success of NY Loves Kids in New York, Ms. Farrell is continuing her advocacy across multiple states and throughout the country in an effort to support survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation. As a result of her advocacy, both Arizona and New Jersey recently passed into law versions of the CVA with overwhelming bi-partisan support.
Ms. Farrell is from Saratoga Springs, New York, holds a BS from Cornell University, and resides in Hudson, NY with her partner Andrew and their dog, Lexington.