Tag Archives: Pedophiles

Penn State abuse claims: Sometimes silence is not golden

8 Nov

Most caring and involved parents want to nurture the talents and potential of their children. It is not unusual for parents to spend money to provide academic tutoring or if the child is musical, to hire a voice or instrument coach. Many parents often hire private athletic coaches to develop their children’s talent and are quite flattered when their child is invited to a college setting. For parents of disadvantaged children, sports is often seen as a ticket out of poverty. Many think this the way for a college scholarship.

Pete Thamel is reporting in the New York Times article, State Officials Blast Penn State in Sandusky Case that there were several opportunities over the years to uncover the alleged abuse at Penn State.

The Pennsylvania attorney general and the state police commissioner excoriated Penn State officials on Monday for failing over several years to alert the authorities to possible sexual abuse of young boys by a prominent football assistant.

They said the university employees who declined to report the incidents to the police put countless more children at risk of being abused by Jerry Sandusky, the longtime assistant who has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span, including during his tenure as an assistant at Penn State.


Among the opportunities to uncover the alleged abuse reported by Thamel were:

Even after Sandusky “made admissions about inappropriate contact in the shower room” in 1998 to the Penn State campus police, “Nothing happened,” Noonan said. “Nothing stopped.”

He said that janitors witnessed a sexual act in the football facility’s showers two years later, and still “nothing changed, nothing stopped,” because the janitors feared for their jobs and did not report the incident. Then, in 2002, according to prosecutors, another sex act involving Sandusky and a young boy was witnessed by a Penn State graduate assistant coach, who reported it to Coach Joe Paterno — yet the police still were not contacted.


What makes this alleged crime so particularly heinous, if true, is that the children often came from disadvantaged backgrounds. This was a conspiracy of silence.

The American Humane Association has some great resources about abuse. In their article, Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, reasons why some do not report abuse are given:

Why Don’t Some People Report Child Abuse and Neglect?

Among the most frequently identified reasons for not reporting are lack of knowledge about child abuse and neglect and lack of familiarity with state reporting laws. Other reasons people don’t report include:

In the case of powerful institutions like the Catholic Church and Penn State University, a culture of silence and fear develops which makes it impossible to stop current abuse and prevent future abuse. The abusers are often powerful or protected by the powerful for a variety of reasons. The abuse must be uncovered and dealt with. Silence only helps the abusers.

There are certain signs that your child is being groomed by a sex predator and you should be alert for those signs. Dr. Phil has an excellent article Is Your Child Being Groomed by a Predator?  Among the signs are:

·         You’re vulnerable if you are a single parent and lack time to spend with your child.

·         You’re vulnerable if you are desperate for help from outsiders.

·         If your child is from a broken or unstable home, pedophiles recognize this, and use it as a way to get inside.

·         If there is someone in your life who has a really unusual, too-good-to-be-true interest in your child, it probably is too good to be true.

·         If someone lavishes gifts on your child, and the person has unusual knowledge of kids’ popular interests — what shows they like, what music they like — pedophiles brief themselves on those things.

·         Your child receives mail, gifts or packages from someone you don’t know.

·         If this person shows up without a child at child-intensive events and locations, that’s a problem.

·         If you’re dealing with a person who always offers and angles for alone time with your child, you need to be very concerned.

·         Is your child spending large amounts of time online, especially at night?

·         Does your child use an online account that belongs to someone else?

·         Have you found pornography on your child’s computer?

·         Your child receives phone calls from men you don’t know or is making calls to numbers you don’t recognize.

·         Take notice if your child turns off the computer monitor quickly or changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.

·         Is your child withdrawing from family?  

Parents must be vigilant and monitor those who come into contact with their children. If your gut tells you that something is not quite right, follow your instincts and investigate.

In some instances, silence is definitely not golden.

Articles you might find useful are: 

  1. Victim Grooming: Protecting Your Child from Sex Predators
  2. The Grooming Process of a Child Sex Predator
  3. How Pedophiles Groom Victims 

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©