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Lessons From Jerry Sandusky Child Sex Abuse

June 27th, 2012   No Comments   Abuse, Advocacy

From South Florida to across the nation, child advocates and foster child attorneys are taking some time to consider and address fall-out from the Jerry Sandusky guilty verdict. As the former assistant coach at Penn State University awaits sentencing on his conviction for 45 counts of child sexual abuse, the rest of us have our own lessons to learn. The simple lessons are to listen, act and change the way we view others.

Listen. When a child discusses or even hints at sexual abuse – or that something’s not right with someone in their lives, listen. Try to gently get details. Encourage open conversation.

Act. We must act on what we learn. Discuss the matter with the authorities or law enforcement.

And finally, place no one – or any organization – beyond reproach or suspicion. As with learned, Sandusky – a respected coach and founder of an organization for foster kids – abused his position and power to prey on innocent boys. Don’t be rash or quick to judge. Just be prepared to dig deeper.

As the Sun-Sentinel wrote, “Sexual abuse will still occur in our society, often being perpetrated by supposedly respected people like Jerry Sandusky. And there will often be powerful institutions — like Penn State — that will be more interested in protecting themselves than the victims of abuse.

“But since the Sandusky case became public last fall, and more and more tales of abuse became known, people have hopefully learned that having the courage to come forward — whether as a witness to possible abuse or as a victim — is crucial.”

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