Ugly truth on child abuse

As the anniversary of the Sandusky indictment approached, I pondered many questions anew.

I’ve never been able to reconcile the circumstances surrounding Joe Paterno. What is the truth? Is Joe guilty? Am I blind? Yes, I am. We are all blind, and Joe was, too. This isn’t about defending Paterno.

The truth is that we expected a champion for abused children in a country that is blind and silent. For example:

n 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse.

n Over their lifetime, 28 percent of youth had been sexually victimized.

That’s disgusting. Have you ever reported the sexual abuse of a child? Abuse is everywhere, why don’t you do something? The truth is difficult. We see through the scope of what we already know to be true about these predators, and cannot see this terrible truth around us.

Victims and families

shouldn’t feel ashamed, but they often do. We don’t know how to encourage and support them. Most of us have no idea what we can do to change this horrific epidemic.

The discussion should be moved on to criticism of our own collective lack of action. Many have proclaimed what they would have done, and yet blindness and inaction prevail.

If you know a child, you have a responsibility. Do you know how to identify signs of abuse in a child or the characteristics of a predator? It’s time to dole out a heavy dose of responsibility.

It belongs to all of us.

Greta Halahan