No Excuse for Non-reporting of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Jerry Sandusky, right, the former Penn State d...

Jerry Sandusky, right, the former Penn State defensive coordinator — Until now, the Big Ten university had one of the most sterling images in college athletics (November 5, 2011) …. (Photo credit: marsmet551)

The recent Penn State scandal concerning the issue of non-reporting childhood sexual abuse by Joe Paterno and others, who failed to report their knowledge of Jerry Sandusky‘s abuse of eight young boys to law enforcement was a shock to many people.  But those of us who have lived through sexual abuse and care about these issues were not so shocked.  Many of us lived through times when sexual abuse of children was swept under the family rug and frequently went unreported.  The perpetrator simply moved on to new victims because he wasn’t reported by those who knew of his prior victimization.

What many people fail to acknowledge is that there is a federal law against non-reporting of any kind of child abuse, including the sexual abuse of a child.  There is simply no excuse for the non-reporting of childhood sexual abuse in today’s society.  It’s against the law! Those in leadership at Penn State who failed to report it to law enforcement, whether they reported it to their superiors or not, are still responsible for not reporting the offenses.  They broke the law and should be held accountable for breaking that law.  More children were victimized needlessly because of their ignoring of this law.  And those children’s lives will never be the same for it.

The Penn state cover-up is inexcusable. As leaders in the sports community, their failure to do the right thing sets a bad example for those who follow them.  Their attempt to protect the reputation of the University and possibly themselves, was likely all about the money, that is the donations that Penn State receives from the public. Some people may in fact have withdrawn their support at the knowledge of allegations of childhood sexual abuse, but I believe many would have given even more money to the University if they had done the right thing.

But since they failed to do what was right when they knew the facts, I think both the people involved and the University should suffer some legal and financial consequences for their lack of reporting it to the proper authorities, their lack of leadership, and blatant negligence of issues of morality. Whether or not it was against the law, they should have reported it out of concern for the children involved.  The University only fired people when they were clearly forced to, for fear it would cost them something. If the allegations had not come to light, rest assured that Joe Paterno and the other coaches would still be there.  I believe that under the circumstances, withdrawing of gifts to Penn State would be totally appropriate at this time.  We need to show them and others that cover-ups of childhood sexual abuse will not be tolerated by anyone, especially by leaders in our community!

Ecc. 12:14

For God will bring everything done into judgment along with everything done in secret, whether it is good or evil. 

Apparently there is some confusion over this law and it doesn’t apply to coaches, which means they get off easy.

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Patern...

Image via Wikipedia

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g), as amended by the CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum:

    • “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or
  • “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

Update on Sandusky

Two Landmark Cases of Childhood Sexual Abuse

Silent Screams

About mamaheartfilled

I am a mother of eight wonderfully challenging children and nine grandkids, of whom I am very proud. I am also a bi-vocational ordained evangelical minister, and a Christian Counselor. I received my B.S. degree in 2004, studying primarily in the areas of Psychology, with minors in Religion and English. I received my Masters Degree in 2009 in Psychological Counseling with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. I have endeavored to paraphrase the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, for the last ten years or so and am working on a final edit, now. It is my hope that it will be of some use in the great commission of Christ. My ministry is primarily geared toward victims of sexual and domestic violence, including victims of childhood sexual abuse, whether currently or in the past. Since I have personally experienced the healing hand of God in overcoming many of the life issues that Christians may face, I feel qualified and compelled to discuss them in a truthful and open manner, as God’s word tells us that “We shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free.” God has brought me through such diverse tribulations as sexual, physical, and mental abuse, being a victim of a drunk driving accident, spousal pornography addiction, adultery, divorce, remarriage, a very brief, though unjust, incarceration, and having experienced multiple miscarriages and various other trials. I have been asked to leave two Southern Baptist Churches, due to my being a female, ordained as a minister, and fired from a SBC sponsored Christian School (mostly white) for speaking out against racial prejudice in the Family of God. Through God’s merciful forgiveness of my own sins and inadequacies and God’s grace given to me to forgive those who have been a stumbling block to me, I have overcome many of these adversities. God’s word tells us that “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to the purposes of God." Since I have this hope, I believe that God has blessed me with the ability to confront and relate these issues to the Christian community around the world. I hope to be able to use my personal experiences as a ministry of God’s grace and in the comforting of the people of God with the truth of God's mercy. I claim II Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 as my calling, which states: “Blessed be God, the Origin of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Origin of mercies, and the God of comfort; who comforts us in all our troubles, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, by the comfort we ourselves have been given by God.” As I have received the gift of God’s healing, I hope to be able to bring the peace beyond understanding to others with the message of God’s mercy and grace. My love for the Sovereign Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, along with my passion for writing has drawn me to explore these commonly experienced crisis issues from the perspective of my own experience in the hope that I may bring an empathetic and compassionate insight to God’s people. I am now a published author and have several books in publication, including my autobiography, "A Little Redneck Theology." The views expressed in my writings are strictly my own insights, acquired from personal experience and diligent study of the related topics and God’s word concerning them. Though I am an ordained minister, my views should not be considered authoritative. I believe that the Christian community’s ultimate authority is the guidance of the human heart by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
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5 Responses to No Excuse for Non-reporting of Childhood Sexual Abuse

  1. Pingback: Don’t turn a blind eye! You must report it! | Go Fish Ministries, Inc

  2. Pingback: Pedophilia is the New Normal: God Help Us! | Go Fish Ministries, Inc

  3. Pingback: Update on Sandusky Trial | Go Fish Ministries, Inc

  4. “It was the stated goal of Penn State President Spanier to become the most gay-friendly campus in America. Penn State had the first all gay fraternity and officially sponsored events like “QueerFest” and Become a Lesbian for a day.” Additionally, in 2006 they fired their National Championship winning woman’s basketball coach who had been there for 27 years for telling a parent she would not tolerate homosexuality on her team. I submit that it is against this backdrop of tolerating unnatural, unhealthy, and perverted sexual conduct that if nothing else, created an environment for a sexual predator like Sandusky to operate!” Lyn Levens


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