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Talking with Your Kids About Sexual Abuse: Questions the Sandusky Trial Prompted Me to Ask

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.

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The Penn State Scandal and Rape Culture

The most surprising thing about the cover-up and riots over the Penn State child rape scandal is how surprised we are. If you’ve been paying attention, you might notice that our society has a habit of not taking sexual violence seriously. 

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Preventing and Reporting Child Abuse: The Questions Raised by the Penn State Scandal

Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno

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?

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