Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Cruel Lesson of Penn State

A spot-on comment from a friend (article below):


I just saw on your blog the bit about Deliver Us From Evil.  Sounds like an amazing film - will definitely take a look!   Along the same lines, I was totally floored this article by a law professor's about his own abuse  (he is a colleague of my good friend at BC Law School).  I thought you'd also find it interesting.

The statistic that floored me is in the excerpt below:

But as the story has remained in the headlines and the uncomfortable conversations have continued, I haven't been able to shake an overwhelming feeling that I failed Sandusky's victims and, by extension, far too many other boys. Abuse thrives on silence. In some cases, as the Penn State situation makes clear, the silence of third parties gives perpetrators license. But victims' silence also plays a huge role. This is true in the immediate aftermath of the abuse, where victims' inability to speak out puts them (and others) at further risk. It's also true much more generally. Several of my friends, for example, were shocked when Rick Reilly reported that, according to a 1998 study on child sexual abuse by Boston University Medical School, one in six boys in America will be abused by age 16. For girls, it's one in four by the age of 14. They were shocked, no doubt, because concrete examples of abuse are not as available to them as the statistics suggest. Most people don't think they know any abuse victims.



The Cruel Lesson of Penn State

How what happened in State College forced me to confront my own abuse.

By Mark P. McKenna

Updated Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at 11:05 AM ET

But they do know victims. They just don't realize it, because so many of us have been unable to reveal ourselves. This breeds a false sense of security, with too many adults believing abuse is someone else's problem.

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