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The trial of Jerry Sandusky focused the country’s attention on the sexual abuse of boys. It also showcased the tremendous courage of the young men who came forward who testified in court and in so doing, spoke powerfully to their own truths, and also to the larger truth of the sexual victimization of male children.
In conversation with Dr. David Lisak, a founding board member of 1in6, he reminded us that, "It’s important to remember that the jury’s verdict in this case does not control the healing process for any survivor. I hope that men who have been harmed by sexual abuse, and those who care for them, will use this moment to take a step on their own path toward healing. Talk to a loved one. Visit the 1in6 web site. Find a therapist. Take the next step."
The conviction of Sandusky powerfully validates the truth that was so courageously spoken by the young men who testified in that Pennsylvania courtroom. It also validates the reality of the sexual abuse of male children and it further focuses the attention and the national conversation that have resulted from the prosecution of Jerry Sandusky. The Penn State case, driven by the courage of the survivors, has advanced the country’s understanding of the sexual abuse of boys, and in so doing it has given hope to countless boys and young men who otherwise may have remained isolated and alone.
In the wake of this case, it is important to redouble our efforts, as survivors and on behalf of survivors. More than ever, we must reach out to young men who may have been victims of sexual abuse; we must be receptive to disclosures; we must be ready as professionals to provide care and treatment to survivors who seek help.
And we must, once and for all, leave behind the old stereotypes and misconceptions that for too long have hidden the sexual abuse of boys from our collective consciousness.
1in6's mission also includes serving family members, friends, and partners by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community.
The views expressed above are not necessarily those of the Joyful Heart Foundation or 1in6.