HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) released a letter to the Penn State University Board of Trustees today offering resources, insight and expertise on child sexual abuse in light of the allegations against former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
PCAR commends the board for forming a task force to investigate the allegations not only against Sandusky, but also the perjury charges facing recently resigned Athletic Director Timothy Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary C. Schultz.
“PCAR recognizes the need for this task force to be objective and comprehensive in its investigation,” PCAR Chief Executive Officer Delilah Rumburg said. “We are urging the board to take advantage of our child abuse experts and the great resources regarding child sexual abuse that exist right in their backyard.”
The Sandusky case is a strong reminder that child sexual abuse happens every day and is perpetrated against victims regardless of race, gender or age. Research shows that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before they reach the age of 18.
Abuse can be in many forms including sexual acts such as rape and other types of penetration, inappropriate touching, voyeurism, exhibitionism, pornography, child sexual exploitation and Internet-based child sexual abuse.
“The Penn State case has garnered a lot of attention because of the status of the individuals and university involved,” Rumburg said. “But we must not forget that there are thousands of children in Pennsylvania and nationally each year that are the victims of child sexual abuse. That’s not acceptable. Children – like the ones in the Sandusky case —deserve the opportunity to heal and receive the help they need. Each of them deserves to have an adult in their lives that will value them and take a stand to report suspicions of child sexual abuse to authorities.”
Adults have the responsibility to report suspicions of child sexual abuse to Childline or by calling the HERO Hotline at 1-877-874-HERO. The HERO Hotline was launched statewide by PCAR to encourage adults in our communities to intervene and report suspicions of child sexual abuse. To learn more about the HERO project, visit www.heroproject.org .
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is the oldest anti-sexual violence coalition in the U.S. The organization represents 51 sexual assault centers that serve victims in the state’s 67 counties. Each year these centers provide confidential services, at no charge, to more than 30,000 men, women and children affected by sexual abuse.