– Edmund Burke
As I am sure you have heard by now, Penn State university has been rocked by the scandal of a former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, who is accused of sexually assaulting young boys beginning as early as the mid 90’s and continuing throughout and after his tenure at Penn State.
Where Did Coach Paterno Go Wrong?
In the light of this horrific tragedy, being angry and shocked is simply not enough. What happened at Penn State needs to go beyond anger, surprise, sensationalism, and lengthy news coverage. Every organization that works with children needs to look at what happened and do some self-evaluation of their current sexual abuse prevention strategies. Don’t be afraid to make changes.
Policies Protect Children
Next it is paramount that we figure out how to get kids to understand when something wrong has been done to them – and then report it to the right people. It is terrifying how pedophiles are able to keep their victims silent. Children remain silent because their abuser scares them into silence; there can also be shame and embarrassment, and sometimes even a feeling of affection for the person molesting them. Silence is terrible because it protects and enables the molester to keep on molesting, and it deprives the victims of the help they need. Studies have shown the average sexual predator victimizes 120 before being caught.
It is not enough to say “we know everyone” or “that will never happen here.” The church is a target for predators. Predators are eager to volunteer to work with children and typically won’t wait long before gaining access. If access is not permitted they will move to another target. The six-month rule is a great way to weed out any potential predators.
About Protect My Ministry
Protect My Ministry continues to work diligently to educate churches in the area of ministry protection and provides resources can assist any ministry in the creating and maintain a safe environment for those entrusted to their care. Our proprietary processes, products and solutions have made Protect My Ministry the industry leader for volunteer background checks, child safety training and risk management solutions.