The Penn State disaster: A Mother's perspective

My children are my life. Funny that I say that because neither of my boys are my biological children. My husband and I were actually kind of blindsided when we found out that we would be getting full custody of them. Although we loved being totally immersed in our bachelor-esque type of lifestyle of lavish dinners, champagne for breakfast, and vacations to adults only locales, we knew that the right thing to do was to put our selfish desires aside and step up and raise our kids. And I have to say that being a mother has totally changed my life for the better. Looking at life through the eyes of a child brings a certain type of humility and appreciation that cannot be found at late night jazz clubs and designer clothing stores. Children represent our past, present, and our future. We can look at them and see so much of ourselves at their age, but also notice the differences and the possibilities they have to do even greater things than we ever imagined. It is our job as the adults in their lives to protect them and encourage them at all costs. I was absolutely distraught when I heard of the news of the sexual abuse scandal involving Penn State coaches and officials. All too often, our little boys are overlooked when it comes to dealing with sexual abuse. It has somehow become a "Woman's issue", and unfortunately many do not see the importance of protecting and preparing our young boys. Too many of our young boys do not even realize that the issue even warrants a conversation.

My youngest just finished his first season of flag football. I stood by the sidelines diligently at every game cheering him on, and watched as his coach encouraged and guided each and every player throughout the game. I also watched as the boys' faces lit up when they realized that their coach was proud of them, or when they grasped a concept that their coach was trying to teach them. They admired their coach, and unknowingly sought out ways to win his heart. And when someone trusts you with their heart, that privilege is not to be taken lightly. I was blessed to be able to have an awesome coach for my son whom I could trust and depend on. I cannot imagine the hurt and disdain that would be involved when a parent realizes that their child's coach has breached their trust and done something as unethical as abuse their child. I also could not imagine as a grown person being fully aware that someone was abusing ANY defenseless child, not just my own, without me taking action. I cannot imagine how I would be able to sleep at night, or how I would face a monster who sexually abuses children and simply carry on as if all was right with the world.

The reason why abusers usually assault a multitude of children is because no one has ever taken them out of the environment in which they've been able to commit their first crime. So instead they continue to abuse over and over again, brainwashing their victims, and presenting themselves as a "normal" everyday citizen while they destroy our society and produce angry, hurtful human beings who have suffered from their abuse. Many of these children will go on to abuse others if help is not sought for these traumatic experiences. Abusers do not stop on their own, they are stopped by people who take action against such a horrific offense. Injustice cannot cease to exist if people simply sit by and expect someone else to handle it. It is our responsibility to follow through on weeding out the lowest of the low regardless of what the circumstances may be. Unfortunately, it seems as though our society has lost a bit of its compassion. Everyone wants to pass the responsibility on to someone else. But at what cost do you continue to turn your head? Sure, you are not to blame for the horrible things that were done, but you could be the hero that was responsible for stopping a huge injustice. I'm sure many will disagree with my Call to Social Responsibility, but if you don't believe me just talk to child who has been sexually abused. Maybe then you will change your tune.

For More information on Child Abuse or to report Abuse contact your local police department or the Childhelp, the National Child Abuse Center Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD

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