We have an unprecedented opening to use the Penn State sexual abuse case’s stunning lessons about ignorance, self-interest, and responsibility to examine widespread, false assumptions about child sexual abuse and how to prevent it.
From the Sandusky trial to new revelations about the Catholic Church to the stories about Horace Mann in the 1970s, it seems like sexual abuse is always in the news. These topics are particularly tricky to discuss with kids—how do we keep them safe without making them scared? I turn to two experts for advice.
By censoring Rep. Lisa Brown’s use of the word “vagina,” lawmakers in Michigan are sending a powerful message to young people that certain things (and body parts) are so shameful adults can’t even hear about them. It is just this attitude that creates environments where years of abuse – like what is being alleged in the trial of Jerry Sandusky – can go on in silence.
This is a story about Roxanne, a fictitious young single mother who thinks she found the man of her dreams. It turns out he is a nightmare–a child sexual predator. But after initial denial, Roxanee trusts her instincts, and protects her daughter from sexual abuse. What if this were the norm post-Penn State?
Fifteen adults at Penn State–15 individual adults, all men–either witnessed directly or had knowledge of rape, sodomy, and assault of children by Jerry Sandusky and either did not act or whose actions were for naught. These include 12 adult men who were in positions of power, some of them members of law enforcement.
In any particular abuse situation there is an abuser, a victim, and (almost always) bystanders. This is true in bullying, street violence, as well as child sexual abuse. One of the most important questions that the Penn State situation, and cases like it, raise is — what is it about the nature of intimate sexual violence that stops so many bystanders from taking action?
Last night, the House Republicans banded together at the last minute on purely specious grounds to defeat legislation aimed at preventing child marriage worldwide.
Roman Catholic Bishops in Connecticut are fighting a bill aimed at rescinding the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. Yep. You read that right.
Continuing the pattern of the institutional Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse of children by priests in the United States, the Netherlands’ Handelsblad.com reports that the Dutch Catholic Church for years ignored reports by children and families that sexual abuse of boys by priests was rife in Catholic schools.
When authorities removed 413 children in danger of sexual abuse from the Yearning for Zion ranch this month, it became clear that here in the US, child marriage is a result of brainwashing and indoctrination.