Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
Every new sexual abuse scandal that develops over the Penn State debacle gets me angrier and more frustrated as a parent.
The psychology behind a supposed “authority figures” in a child’s life — say, a coach, a priest or a teacher — how does this abuser choose his mark?
As concerned parents, how can we avoid being witness to this in the future?
Doesn’t this Penn State heartbreak devastate you?
Journalist Nick Bryant profiles child abuse scandals after years of research, and finds that the Penn State, Syracuse, and Poly Prep scandals are “eerily” similar to child abuse networks in Nebraska and Florida. Author of two books and an expert on child trafficking and sexual abuse, Bryant said the Penn State-Sandusky case bears the following parallels to other child abuse networks in the past.
According to Bryant, kids most at risk are:
- Victimized children are typically from lower-socio economic levels
Kids abandoned or assigned to an umbrella organization for foster care services
- The person organizing the abuse has a strong personality, high standing in the community, and tends to believe he is above the law
- The abuse network tends to be covered up by denial and the “cult of personality” surrounding the organizer
- Any cover-up includes victim/witness intimidation
“The current Penn Scandal is so disheartening, because Penn State, law enforcement, and social services personnel were aware of Sandusky’s alleged abuse of children in 1998 and also in 2002, but they seemed to turn a blind eye,” Bryant said.
“Not only did officials in Pennsylvania turn a blind eye to child abuse, but Penn State and many of its affiliates continued to pour money into Sandusky’s children’s charity, Second Mile, until 2010,” he said.
Bryant took seven years to research and write one of the few commercially published books on child abuse networks and trafficking, The Franklin Scandal, which documents how socially influential organizations for disadvantaged children were plundered by child traffickers. He is the co-author of America’s Children: Triumph of Tragedy, addressing the medical and developmental problems of lower socioeconomic children in America.
Bryant must keep reporting and allow parents to help identify abusers once and for all!