By Gaetane Borders
I'll be honest with you...I am not a football kind of gal. So, up until a few days ago, I had no idea who the heck Jerry Sandusky was. All that changed, however, in the matter of a seconds when all the sexual abuse allegations against him surfaced! Now....he will never be forgotten. The most disturbing part of this story is not that he could have done this to all those young children. I am well aware of how prevalent this crime is. (The statistics do not lie.) I am disturbed...appalled...nauseated by the allegation that so many knew about this....AND DID NOTHING TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN! (Yes, I'm yelling because I am peeved!)
I reviewed the infamous timeline that has been widely reported. In summary, it begins in 1994. In 2000, a Janitor allegedly sees Sandusky molesting a young boy. Again in 2002, a graduate assistant (Mike McQueary) allegedly witnessed Sandusky sodomizing a 10-yr-old in a locker room. A 2008 Grand Jury investigation found that 118 phone calls were made from Sandusky's phone to a victim's home after his mother reported that her son had been molested. However, it was not until October 5, 2011 that Sandusky is arrested for the alleged crimes. Siiiiiigggghhh!
The sad truth is that there are thousands of "Sandusky's" out there. However, don't be misguided because there are just as many "McQueary's" in the world as well!!!!! In fact, in order for a pedophile to victimize, they need a cloak of secrecy. Remember as well that kids often do not tell when they are being abused because the pedophile has brainwashed them into thinking that what they are doing is okay; or that no one will believe them; or that they would harm their loved ones. That is why I want each of you to know the warning signs to watch for.
Here are just a few:
- Masturbating excessively.
- Showing unusually aggressive behavior toward family members, friends, toys, and pets.
- Complaining of pain while urinating or having a bowel movement.
- Exhibiting symptoms of genital infections such as offensive odors, or symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease.
- Beginning wetting the bed.
- Experiencing a loss of appetite or other eating problems, including unexplained gagging.
- Showing unusual fear of a certain place or location.
- Developing frequent unexplained health problems.
- Engaging in persistent sexual play with friends, toys or pets.
- Regressing to behaviors too young for the stage of development they already achieved.
- Initiating sophisticated sexual behaviors.
- Indicating a sudden reluctance to be alone with a certain person.
- Engaging in self-mutilations, such as sticking themselves with pins or cutting themselves.
- Withdrawing from previously enjoyable activities, like school or school performance change.
- Asking an unusual amount of questions about human sexuality.
I also want you to know what to do if you discover that your child has been abused. Here is a short video that offers 5 key things you should do:
Peas In Their Pods, an organization that helps to spread awareness about missing children of color. She has dedicated her life to helping families and children, and is a noted child advocate. Gaétane often lends her expertise to various media outlets such as CBS, CNN, and FOX. In addition, she frequently contributes to magazines and newspapers.