A Look Into Sandusky Scandal Victims' Psychology
Network news shows are full of familiar images of Jerry Sandusky denying any wrongdoing though he's charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse. But what about the victims? Young women are usually the ones to report sexual abuse as a child, but so far, the alleged victims in the Penn State case have been young men.
Laura Templeton is a victim advocate for the Gainesville Police Department and she acknowledges "not as many male victims come forward, but that doesn't mean that there are less males being victimized. By any means. Probably the same amount going on."
And men, in particular, face their own issues of social stigma.
"It's easier for society to think of victims of rape and sexual assault as female for some reason," Templeton says. "So it's definitely harder.
Experts in child victims of sex abuse say it's also pretty common for children to hold off on telling anyone about their experience, like Victim 2 in the Sandusky case.
"They also could have an attachment to the prepetrator and they don't want them to get in trouble," says Faith Marie McCullum, UF Child Protection Case Coordinator. "They might respect or love them, depending on who they are."
McCullum says different programs in Alachua County are trying to get the message out to young boys that they don't have to be ashamed to report abuse. Sometimes, she says they find the strength within themselves.
"They're maturing and they know this is wrong," she says, "they've found a voice and they're able to say no, this needs to stop. And that's a big portion of things that the abuser might be trying to control who they see."
It's a voice the alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky's abuse have found.
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