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|The Real Legacy of Child Sexual Abuse|
|News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition|
|Written by Ginny Grimsley|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2012 08:32|
A ‘Stain’ for a Football Program is a Life Sentence
for Victims, Author Says
While media and collegiate officials debated how best to handle the Penn State child-rape scandal, including the systemic cover-up by university leaders, others want the public to know just how such abuse ruins lives.
“I’ve heard commentators say things like, ‘What’s done is done,’ or ‘There’s no one left to go after,’ or ‘Why punish the students and the athletes? – It’s time to heal,’ ” says child advocate Linda O’Dochartaigh, whose novel Peregrine (www.lavanderkatbooks.com), details the stark aftermath of child sex abuse. “If they were the victims, or their children were, I don’t think those sports analysts would be so quick to forgive and forget.”
To hear supporters of the university’s football program is surprisingly reminiscent of those who defend abusers, she says.
Penn State’s board could do the noble thing and make it easy on themselves by self imposing the “death penalty” option – temporarily shutting down the embattled football program, she says.
“As terrible as the initial abuse is for children, the volume of lifelong negative consequences is usually worse,” O’Dochartaigh says. “Children who suffer sexual abuse often hear the voice of their abuser in their minds for the rest of their lives, telling them they’re bad, they’re ugly, they’re worthless. These children are often sentenced to a lifetime of relationships in which they are victims.”
O’Dochartaigh reviews the lasting scars of child sexual abuse:
“When I hear the ‘yeah, but’ argument from people defending those who allow sexual abuse to continue, whether its’ at Penn State or in the Catholic Church, I realize we have to do more to raise awareness about how sexual abuse can ruin lives,” says O’Dochartaigh.
About Linda O’Dochartaigh
Linda O’Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence. She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O’Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren.
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