The Effects of Child Abuse are Devastating

As if the Jerry Sandusky case that bought Joe Paterno and other Penn State officials to it's knees weren't enough, other prominent public figures are now being ensnared in this horrible crime against humanity.  Bernie Fine, a long time assistant coach at Syracuse University, was fired for allegations bought against him by former ball boys for the team.  The head baseball coach at Neumann-Gorettti here in Philadelphia, was arrested after giving liquor and drugs to a freshman. 

This week, one of my favorite  sportswriters, Bill Conlin, of the Daily News, retired after allegations of child sexual harassment were bought against him by at least six adults.  The crimes allegedly occurred years ago but the victims needed to tell their stories in light of the Jerry Sandusky case.  The Catholic Church is still reeling from the years of sexual abuse perpetrated by its priests.  I read that in Belgium, thousands of children suffered in silence at the hands of child predators.  That the abuse occurred while these individuals were shrouded in the cloak of the church is reprehensible. 

I can imagine that the healing process for individuals abused as children is life long.  I remember how lonely catholic priest used to seem to me when I attended St. Rita's Elementary School.  Preach a mass and go back to the rectory.  Drink wine while serving mass and go back to the rectory.  It was a terrible routine in my book.

Even the nuns had to had some outlets besides countless hours of devotion.  My wish would be that people who are inclined to touch a child inappropriately, seek help first.  I will report back on the unfolding drama in Happy Valley.   I hope that all victims' stories are heard in all of these cases and that victims feel empowered to report abuse immediately.

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