Aside from the heinousness, something has bothered me about the Jerry Sandusky case. I have some hopes that some good can come out of this horrible situation. One is that survivors of Sandusky's sexual attentions should and can be viewed without ridicule, derision or yes, even pity. The kids were children who were used by a man who thought his sexual drives should be satisfied with children. Just about every conversation I've heard on this subject at work ends with a trollish concern of how horrible this situation is for Jerry Sandusky's "victims".
I can't speak for all child sexual assault survivors, but I can speak for one and I don't need anybody's pity. What I need is to know that when sexual predators are caught, they are put away so they can never assault anyone ever again. I need for family, friends, teachers and coaches (society in general) to get it right in how they should respond when they come across child sexual assault. I need police, lawyers and judges to stop looking at child sexual assault like it will advance their careers when they take on these cases.
What I need is if I do mention that I was sexually assaulted as a child for the listener to not react in horror....to not ask the prurient details to satisfy their need for gossip. What I need is acceptance of being the 1 in 4 who had this experience and while it is challenging, it is not defeating. It happened. I deal with it. Sexual assault doesn't define me, but it is part of my life experience.
I'll share what I want of the experience when I want to or not at all. I don't want to be judged on the veracity of my experience. I don't want to be accused of asking for it. I don't want any of that. It happened. It shouldn't have happened. Yes, my family totally messed up in how they handled it. I deal with it at every family gathering. Truth be told, these days it bothers them more than me - that's growth. No, the police didn't get involved and considering what happened to an acquaintance of mine; I'm glad that I don't have to deal with police/prosecutor inflicted trauma on top of what I do deal with. Due to my child sexual assault, I made a bunch of bad choices in my 20's and had enough unfortunate experiences to end up with PTSD. Don't worry, I don't "wig out". It took some time, but I turned my life around and I make better choices today. A counselor early on in my recovery said to me, "The best revenge is to live well." (I had anger issues.) It was a good idea 30+ years ago, it's a good idea today.
This Sandusky trial has been a trial because I can't really talk about it for all the reasons stated above. One aspect of this case that has bothered me is the derision and scorn for the adult witnesses of Jerry Sandusky's inappropriate contact with children. I wouldn't be surprised to find out Mike McQuery and the janitor have some awful flashbacks of their experiences. Sexual harassment training doesn't deal with child sexual assault. Both men didn't believe their "lying eyes". They didn't act. All they had to do was yell "Stop! What the hell is going on here! Hey kid, let's get you out of here." All up the line of authority no one acted. Jerry Sandusky has probably assaulted upwards of 120 children as a child sexual predator if the statistics on this sort of thing hold true. The code of silence, horror, paralytic inaction and pity must stop. If you see it, stop it. Get the kid safe. Put the jerk away.
What I really want to see from the Sandusky case is a change in how we view child sexual assault. It's not the kids' fault. We don't want to make or break police, prosecutor's or therapist's careers over our experience. We might need help in how we view authority figures among other things. We need to feel normal. We don't need to feel ashamed for not stopping what an adult did to us. Child sexual assault in our current society isn't rare. It should be, but it isn't. We need to make it non-existent. Until then, we need to feel that we can go on and fulfill our dreams without anybody's pity. We're stronger than that.
The best thing for us to do is live well.
UPDATE: Rec list. Thank you. Just, thank you.
UPDATE2: The verdict is in guilty on 45 of 48 counts. He's in handcuffs. Bond revoked. Good.