Monday, June 4, 2012

Jerry Sandusky and Penn State Seven Months Later: What have we learned?


CHICAGO, IL, June 4, 2012 – It’s been seven months since the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal broke at Penn State, and as Sandusky goes to trial, the question before us as a nation is: What have we learned?

“We have learned that communities are prepared to come together and support healthy, happy childhoods and the prevention of child sexual abuse before it ever occurs, says James M. Hmurovich, President & CEO, Prevent Child Abuse America. “We have learned that policymakers both local and federal now better understand that the laws in place are inadequate if we are going to prevent child sexual abuse from ever occurring. And we have learned that as a country the impact of child sexual abuse remains far more reaching than most of us were able to acknowledge, or even understand, before the Sandusky scandal happened.”

We have also learned that all adults must play an active role in the lives of the children who live in their neighborhoods and communities if we are to ensure that child sexual abuse is prevented before it ever occurs.

To accomplish this we must:

All learn about the grooming techniques of perpetrators and how to recognize the signs of abuse.

Let our children, all of our children, know that we are interested in who they play with; where, and how, they spend their time; and what’s going on in their lives.

Begin a dialogue with children and their parents focused on healthy sexuality at the age-appropriate time.

Minimize one-on-one contact between adults and children.

Advocate for innovative, evidence-based child sexual abuse prevention policies at all levels of government.

And trust our best instincts when we believe abuse is occurring and report it.

What have we learned?

“We have learned that what happened at Penn State is a terrible tragedy for those who were victimized and silenced,” continues Hmurovich, “but that it doesn’t have to be the whole story. We as a nation can, and must, prevent this kind of abuse from occurring to future generations, because at the very least all of our children deserve happy and healthy childhoods, free of abuse.


Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972, works to ensure the healthy development of children nationwide while recognizing that child development is a building block for community development and economic development. We believe that communities across the country are doing innovative things with great results to prevent abuse and neglect from ever occurring, and what we need to do as a nation is commit to bringing this kind of ingenuity to communities everywhere. Based in Chicago, Prevent Child Abuse America has chapters in 49 states and over 400 Healthy Families America, home visitation sites in 37 states, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. For more information, please visit here and here.

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