Sexual Abuse Cases on the Rise

If there is any silver lining at all to the Penn State sexual abuse scandal involving former football coach Jerry Sandusky, it's that sexual abuse victims across the country are becoming more vocal.

Since news of the scandal broke in November, reports of abuse have been on the rise – many from victims who had remained quiet for years. According to a recent report by the Associated Press, calls to the RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) hotline peaked in the weeks following the Penn State news, giving the non-profit organization its busiest month since being founded in 2006. Additionally, visits to websites providing legal resources to sexual abuse victims were up as well, AP reports.   

What's more, many prominent community leaders – including Pennsylvania senate candidate Dave Christian and Philadelphia state Rep Louise Williams Bishop – have come forward to break the silence about their own sexual abuse.

Child sexual abuse is something that is difficult to talk about. We don't want to talk about it, because we don't want to think about the fact that it is happening – daily – to the most innocent members of society. But breaking the silence is the first step in creating the transparency needed to put an end to it. As more high-profile victims come forward, they encourage others to do the same – and in refusing to remain silent, we take the shame of sexual abuse away from the victims and put it back where it belongs – on the shoulders of the abusers.

 

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