Bryan Swalley is a good friend and colleague. When he suggested that he could provide a unique perspective on the Penn State sex-abuse scandal, I gladly told him that this website will serve as his platform. The following was written by Bryan. I hope that you respect his honesty and willingness to open up about a sensitive subject in his past.
My heart breaks for the victims of Jerry Sandusky. Very few people know what it is like to have your childhood tainted like that. Very few people know what it is like to have your innocence taken away at such a young age. Very few people know what it is like to have a male authority figure take advantage of his position and/or influence on little boys. I am one of the unfortunate few that knows what it is like. When I was a very young boy in school, a teacher molested me. Fortunately, I knew what was going on was wrong. I told my grandmother (she raised me and I call her “mom”) and we went to the authorities. I testified against him in court and he went to prison. Still, that is nothing a 6 year old child should ever have to do.
Every person who has turned a blind eye to sex abuse is completely guilty of not only letting the predator get away with it, but letting others fall victim to the abuse. I do not know how it is humanly possible for someone to try to sweep an act like that under the rug. Trust me, these actions produce lifelong memories. Every time I hear on the news or read in the paper of child sex abuse, I’m reminded of what happened. Needless to say, this past week has been troubling for me.
The Penn State scandal may go down as one of the largest profiled child sexual abuse scandals in history. There is no better time than right now to take a proactive stance against this atrocious act against our youth. If you have children, even if you don’t, please take the time to familiarize yourself with the warning signs a sexually abused child may display. According to ChildLuresPrevention.com only 3% of child sexual predators are caught. That is absolutely appalling.
Educate yourself, educate your child. Through education, we can decrease the number of sex abuse cases and increase the number of convictions.