PA--Victims praise new fine vs. Penn State on abuse
For immediate release: Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016
There must be serious penalties for those who ignore or enable child sex crimes, so the NCAA is right to fine Penn State for the complicity of school officials in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
It’s not rocket science: punishing wrongdoing deters wrongdoing. That’s what’s happened here. And that’s what should happen more often.
Often, sex offenders are compulsive, driven individuals who can’t be deterred by the threat of severe consequences. But their colleagues and supervisors are presumably rational individuals who can be. So if we’re serious about safeguarding kids, we must “throw the book” at those who ignore or hide known or suspected child sexual abuse.
Employers everywhere should search their consciences, find some courage, and report whatever information or suspicions they may have about current or former employees who may be acting inappropriately around kids. They must put the well-being of youngsters ahead of their own short-term comfort. This fine shows that it’s increasingly penny-wise but pound foolish to turn a blind eye when evidence suggests children are being assaulted.
No matter what happens next, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in institutions – especially at Penn State or the Second Mile – to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)