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The Sandusky Sentencing: Lest We Forget

Oct 8

Written by:
10/8/2012 3:31 PM  RssIcon

by Joan Cole Duffell, Executive Director, Committee for Children

As the trial and sentencing of Jerry Sandusky come to an end, I can honestly say that I am relieved. The details of this case have been spread across front pages, sports pages, magazines, radio, and television and through all forms of social media. The image of his face is now seared across my imagination. I feel ready to move on.

But in good conscience, I can’t do that.

The courage these young men evidenced in coming forward with the details of Sandusky’s crimes demands that we match their courage with our own. What does that mean?  We can pass laws that require every youth-serving organization to establish clear policies that will better protect children and youth. We can make sure every organization working with children and teens—as well as parents themselves—know how and where to report a suspicion or allegation of abuse.

To that end, Committee for Children, in partnership with the Raynier Institute & Foundation, is bringing the nation’s top experts in child sexual abuse prevention to the University of Washington on October 10. Why? We want to open a discussion about ways to transform the very latest research into the most effective practices that will help keep the children of our community safe. Drs. David Finkelhor, Charol Shakeshaft, and Keith Kaufman will share their expertise with over 200 professionals from across Washington State, representing a unique gathering of top leaders in this critically important field. Our goal is to let research inform and catalyze improvements to sexual abuse prevention policies and procedures in our state, including those that guide the actions of schools and other youth-serving systems.

The Sandusky sentencing marks the end of the case, but it can also be a beginning for all of us to transform the pain this one man has caused into actions that will make our communities safer for all of our children.

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