Letter to the editor | Educate to prevent abuse

October 24, 2013 

In response to Chip Minemyer’s column “Penn State, state-related universities under Right-to-Know microscope” (CDT, Sunday), the longer we continue to value the rights and reputations of adults over the rights and safety of children, the longer children will be abused.

Pedophilia and child sexual abuse exist in secret and silence, but looking at what has happened and vowing to do better can be a turning point.

It doesn’t matter who knew what when or who did or didn’t do the right thing. What matters is that children were abused for years by a serial pedophile, and we now have the opportunity to look at how this might have happened.

This isn’t unique to Penn State. Penn State merely was the backdrop for this pedophile. One in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused by the age of 18, and education is the only way to curb these horrific numbers.

Pennsylvania has an opportunity to shine a light on the ugliness of child sexual abuse.

Pedophiles prey on children because they are vulnerable. If you tell children that Santa Claus is real, they will believe you. If you tell them “It’s our little secret and no one will believe you if you tell,” they will believe you.

I implore the state to put the welfare of children above the egos and reputations of the adults who may have failed them in this instance.

We can’t change what has happened, but we can learn from it.

Roxine Behrens

Clarksburg, Md.

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