HOUSTON, August 24, 2013 —The Associated Press reported that on Friday seven victims of serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky settled with Penn State. Among the victims is Sandusky’s adopted son, Matt Sandusky.
Jerry Sandusky, former assistant football coach for Penn State University, was convicted last year on 45 counts of child sex abuse. The conditions of the settlement have not been disclosed, and 24 more cases are expected to settle in the near future.
The university commissioned a report that heavily criticized several university leaders, including former head coach Joe Paterno, who died last year. Alleged cover-up charges are pending against former college president Graham Spanier, retired athletic director Tim Curly, and retired vice president Gary Schultz.
Between Sandusky being convicted and the university starting to settle, this is a victory, but in the overall picture it’s a small one.
It appears justice is being served in this particular situation of child sex abuse, but it doesn’t change the national statistics: one out of four girls and one out of six boys are sexually abused.
These statistics are as heinous as the crimes themself.
One advantage of national sex scandals like Penn State is that they bring this taboo topic to the surface, when too many people would rather bury this issue and pretend that it didn’t exist. With the aforementioned stats now out there, this issue can no longer be ignored.
However, the only way to change these statistics is by spreading awareness.
Furthermore, the legal system is in disarray in how it treats sex offenders. On average, a drug dealer with no violent history will serve a longer term in prison than a pedophile or rapist. Granted, Sandusky is serving 30-60 years for his crimes, but it took 45 counts of child sex abuse to get him that sentence. In contrast, many first time offenders convicted of dealing drugs, who are charged with far less counts, have been sentenced to prison for 15 years to life.
Statistically the ratio of sex offenders on probation or parole, compared to those jailed, is almost three to one.
With Sandusky convicted and behind bars, he will no longer be able to rape innocence away from children. With Penn State starting to settle with victims, a small victory is being made, but no amount of money will be able to make these victims forget what happened to them, reverse the damages and side effects that abuse caused, or give them back their innocence.
For a victim to overcome sexual abuse it takes time, courage, counseling, and strength. Unfortunately, many victims don’t overcome enough of the effects the abuse had on them to lead a normal life.
If child sex abuse is not in the headlines most Americans will ignore this issue, so it’s up to everyone to get involved by educating their peers, their children; by reading about the signs of child sex abuse and how to prevent it; and by putting pressure on the courts to increase the penalties of sex offenders.
Remember, when the hoopla of this case dies down, when it’s no longer on the front pages, when the hype is gone, the abuse still goes on.
Carter Lee is giving his book (When Jonathan Cried For Me) away as a gift to anyone who has read this article and is a victim of sexual abuse. To receive his book, click on the contact link at the top of this page or on his website link below.
Carter Lee is, one of Houston’s top professional speakers, an author, child sex abuse survivor, and spokesman and manager of the inspirational models Carter’s Bombshells. To see all of his projects visit www.TheCarterLee.com
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