Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE PENN STATE SCANDAL?

Got the following off BrooWaha. My comments are in parenthesis. Click the link above to see the original article.

In the past few weeks, a big shakeup has taken place in the Penn State Athletic Department. It seems that illicit activities have been taking place right under the noses of those with the most power.
Unless you live on an island in the Pacific Ocean, you have likely already heard some of the sordid details of the Penn State scandal. Impressionable and needy little boys being sexually abused and raped by a pedophile in disguise as a Coach/Mentor/Big Brother. Truly sickening, and I feel for each one of these victims and hope that they are strong enough to get past this abuse and live fruitful lives.
Focus
Rather than dwell on the magnitude of the horror, I prefer to look to the future and wonder what good can come out of these tragic circumstances. I believe that primarily, such a public scandal will put some focus on pedophiles and the abuses of young children. It seems that we hear about child sexual abuse much more nowadays than in the past. This is not due to an increase in child sexual abuse, (yeah right) but rather because the victims are finally feeling empowered to speak up about the abuse. Of course, they normally only do so after they become adults, or after they have been victims.
Education
Teaching children how to protect themselves from sexual abuse is vital. Concerted efforts from schools, parents, and all organizations where children gather, be it a baseball team or Girl Scouts, are needed. Having frank and honest discussions with children about sexual abuse is the best way to arm them with the tools to fight it.
Think about this-- (I don't want to think about it) a pedophile is skulking around at his new girlfriend's house while she is sleeping unaware. He sneaks into the bedroom of her nine-year-old daughter. Fortunately, her non-custodial father has anticipated there might be problems with this man, has talked to her about abuse, and gave her some tools for staying safe. She now knows that this situation is wrong-- this man should not be in her room. She also knows that it is okay for her to yell for her mother and siblings to help her, or to use the cell phone Daddy bought her to phone the police. (I would have bought her a semi-automatic or at least some good, strong piano wire myself. Yes, call the police so the pervert can get charged and serve one year of a five year sentence before being paroled.)
Is that scenario not 100% better than what could have happened to this innocent child?
Enforcement
There are laws forbidding known pedophiles and sexual offenders from being in places where children gather, and even living too close to a school. It is important for the public to insist that the police enforce these laws. By registering sexual offenders and tracking them, it can prevent further abuse. (It's not preventing further abuse so far. First it's a sex offender registry, then it's a Christian registry. Seeing as how we have a sex offender registry, though, I advocate someone use that thing to clean house, crosschecking the names of course to make sure those on the list are there justly.) Seeing that the law is enforced encourages young victims of abuse to report problems immediately, stemming abuses that are more serious.
Knowledge
Single parents are attractive partners to pedophiles and sex offenders because of their children. Pedophiles have a compulsive need to be around kids, and children of single parents are often more vulnerable and easily manipulated. Before you allow anyone access to your children, you should check with your local registered sexual offender’s list and be sure that no one you know is on that list.
Be especially sensitive to anybody new in your child’s life, especially someone who takes a special interest in your child. Spend the few minutes it takes to access the sexual offender’s list and be sure that people in contact with your kids do not have a track record of abusing children.

AH: The Penn State scandal is an example of failure to report a crime. Under the Law of God, if you fail to report a crime, you deserve the same penalty as the person who committed the crime, which in the case of pedophelia is death. If we enforced God's law on pedophiles, we wouldn't have these problems today.

No comments: