To the editor,
Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. The Freeh Report found that Penn State leaders had a “total disregard for the safety and welfare” of those children he victimized. Now the NCAA has imposed unprecedented sanctions against Penn State. Yet I feel that there is much more at play here than a news saga about one more child predator, one more institutional scandal, and one more system that failed to protect the innocent.
I am asking each and every one of us to consider the Sandusky/Penn State tragedy a call to action. It’s important that children continue to be taught about abuse and healthy sexuality. However, children cannot and should not be expected to protect themselves from abuse. Ultimately, keeping our young ones safe is the responsibility of adults. All adults. After all, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Here are some things everyone can do to help: learn the facts and understand the risks; minimize opportunity for offenders to offend; talk about it in the community and with your children; stay alert to the signs of abuse; make a plan for how to get help if you need it; trust your gut and act on your suspicions; and get involved with organizations that deal with this issue. For more information about how you can prevent child sexual abuse or help a child who has already been hurt, please download Darkness to Light’s free booklet “7 steps to protecting our children” from www.d2l.org, call Stop It Now’s helpline at 1-888-PREVENT, or contact us here at Crisis Intervention Services. We can be reached at 1-800-270-1620, and via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For our children’s sake, thank you for being willing to stand up and take action.
Sexual Assault Prevention Educator
Crisis Intervention Services