I’m not really someone to keep quiet about things. I have a hard time seeing how it is okay to keep your mouth shut about things that are so, so wrong. I do reserve myself out of respect for my family. So I won’t blast details over the internet; those close enough to me know my story and if it’s something you think you’d like to hear please feel free to send me an email. However, the horrific events at Penn State that is blasted all over the news compels me to share somewhat.
As a victim of abuse I feel strongly about the topic and refuse to find the topic funny, light, or something to be swept under the rug. People found it hard to believe me when I would tell them students were encouraged at Penn State, and other colleges, to not report attacks that happened on or off campus. They were told it would remain on their record, would cause countless problems for them and the students involved, and would involve lengthy processes were there behavior and actions would be out there for everyone to see. Are you kidding me? I was outraged when a friend shared with me that the campus security told her if she went through with reporting her attack that she would most likely be asked to leave the school. Why? The attacker was a well-respected athlete.
So I sadly find it very easy to believe that a coach was able to get away with so much and those who knew were encouraged to keep quiet. Let’s wake up, friends. It is NEVER okay to remain quiet. It is NEVER okay to encourage someone to keep quiet. It is NEVER okay to not report what you see. What happened at Penn State is disgusting and horrible and should be talked about. But let’s not be naïve. It’s not only happening on college campuses. It’s not only disgusting men doing this. It’s happening everywhere by everyone and it’s time to realize that.
I recently had a discussion about this with someone who is at least twice my age. His reaction to my saying it’s happening everywhere? “Well it’s not as bad as it used to be. People talk about it now.” I didn’t even know what to say. Yes, maybe the topic is talked about more now. But it’s not enough. And the fact alone that it is still happening is unacceptable. It took me over ten years to share with my family what happened. Ten years. And people want to pretend like it’s getting better?
And as the events at Penn State are being blasted in the news and on facebook I can’t help noticing that no one is noticing that the assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the victims aren’t being discussed. Instead the news is focusing on head coach Joe Paterno and president Graham Spanier. These two gentlemen, who did so much wrong when they were told of the abuse in 2002, have become the scapegoats in this case. The board of trustees needs to appear as if they’re doing something to right the wrongs. How about we focus on Jerry Sandusky and how he is paying for his wrongs? How about the board discuss what they are doing to fix what Jerry Sandusky did? And what they are doing for the victims?
I updated my cousin on what’s happening and how outraged I am that everyone is focusing on Paterno and Spanier and she asked me “what happened to the assistant coach? And the boys?” And I could only say “I don’t know, no one is reporting on that.”
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