Unless you have had your head buried in the sand recently, I am sure you are aware of the increase in child abuse allegations in our area.
Abuse of any form - sexual, physical or emotional - of anyone is serious and should never be taken lightly.
As a strong believer that there are two sides to every story, I also believe that each side of any allegation should always be investigated thoroughly.
A person who is the accused, and if the allegation is found to be false, suffers serious damage, one they may never recover from and suffer lifetime repercussions, because of a lie. That is why it is so important to not cast judgment immediately after a allegation has been opened.
The same is also true for the victim, the one who reveals a allegation of abuse. There are many reasons why a victim is hesitant to reveal such abuse.
They also know that by revealing and making a accusation, they can be open to judgment and innuendoes that they have other motives for doing so and face the same social repercussions, possibly worse than the accused.
In our justice system, you are innocent until proven guilty.
Until then, we must all attempt to keep a open mind and refrain from judgment. But it is also very important to take allegations seriously.
Every allegation should never be considered a lie. This only could cause victims to remain silent and never speak of their abuse, and this would be a tragedy, a huge tragedy.
As strongly as we must assume innocence of one who has been accused until proven guilty, we also must be very careful to consider the victim a real victim till proven otherwise.
Lynn Zapotoczny, Altoona