Today Jerry Sandusky will be sentenced. How long he will spend in prison is unknown as I write this but the affects of his crimes against youth will remain a life time to the victims.
Almost a year ago I shared with the readers of the local Times Free Press my experiences with sexual abuse. My abuser, a family member, affected me and life forever going forward. From that article a group of supporters was formed and they meet on a weekly basis in Chattanooga.
I know, as the statistics will verify, that there are a lot of victims of sexual and other forms of abuse in Chattanooga. It is okay to come forward and share your story with someone that has been there. Most people that are victims of sexual abuse know that they, but because of shame and fear never tell anyone. It is okay to tell someone. Let it be one of us.
Robert J. Brooks
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Mr. Brooks, abuse of any kind is tragic, and even more so when committed against a child. I believe, the younger a child is abused, the more permanent the damage.
Abuse doesn't only destroy the victim, but entire families and communities, and ultimately society as a whole. It's the gift that can keep on giving for generations to come. It can extend from one generation to another, leading to that generational curse. As in the Sandusky case, many of those men admit to struggling with substance abuse, their own outbursts of violence against others and a host of other anti-social activity.
Unfortunately, and as in most all cases of abuse, in the Sandusky case everyone who needed to know did know. Under different circumstances and a different set of victim, Sandusky would have likely still been free and the victims or anyone who dared to speak up and out would be under attack and accused of "sullying such a fine man's reputation" who's done so much for the community." Even presently, with all the evidence against Sandusky, there are those who still refuse to believe, and are accusing the the accusers for doing it for money.
If we can't or are willing to protect the most vulnerable among us, how can we send others thousands of miles away to fight and die on the pretense of protecting citizens' rights in other countries.
Your willingness to speak up and out, no matter how late, is commendable and the most honorable and valiant step anyone could ever take. From personal experience, I can vouch for how difficult, and sometimes even dangerous, it can be to speak out and up on injustices. "People" will gather their forces, circle their wagons and have all kinds of means to come after you, especially when the accused has some level of trust and respectability within societies.