Inundating the news media this week is the trial of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, the accused sex offender who is charged with sexually assaulting 10 boys over 15 years. Each of these alleged victims were specifically chosen by Sandusky during the time he founded a charity for underprivileged boys, called The Second Mile. The victims spoke of their feelings of shame and fear not only about being abused, but also about their lost contact with Sandusky.
After, these boys were selected by Sandusky as his victims, he began purchasing gifts such as golf clubs, and watches.He gave them opportunities to attend Penn State football games and introductions to meet the players. In most cases, the victims came from homes where there was no father figure. Sandusky filled a void in these children’s lives. They spoke of how Sandusky made them feel important, like a part of a family unit, that they otherwise lacked at home.
One of the most riveting moments in the trial thus far, was when one of the victims spoke about how he did not want the attention to stop. After it did, he was heartbroken. Perhaps even more perplexing is what child psychologist, Judith Cohen, medical director of the Center for Traumatic Stress in Children and Adolescents at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, revealed. She explained that even when a child is being physically or sexually abused, if the child feels an emotional bond with the perpetrator, he or she may view the relationship as special. If and when the relationship ends, the children are often highly disappointed.
The victims on the stand during the Sandusky trial expressed this train of thought, exactly, (ABC.NEWS.com)According to the center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 6 boys will be abused before they turn 18, and one in four girls will experience the same exploitation. Personal injury attorneys and law firms like Gerson & Schwartz, PA strive to protect children by recovering money damages from sexual predators to expose them, and to disable their ability to continue abuse.
Unlike many other crimes, sexual abuse is usually a long term behavior pattern by offenders. Crime victims, especially children, need professional representation from experienced lawyers to fight for their rights. As in the Sandusky case, children frequently do not come forward if they are being abused until they are prompted by adults who have some knowledge about the abuse.
If you have knowledge of sexual abuse or suspect that abuse may be happening please come forward. The team at Gerson & Schwartz, PA will protect your anonymity at all costs. We have consulted with lawyers representing victims in this case and are part of a national network of lawyers fighting to end sexual assault and exploitation of children.
Children cannot defend themselves, they need help. At Gerson & Schwartz, PA we will fight for the rights of those who cannot protect themselves. (305)371-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org