With the Jerry Sandusky case raising public awareness about individual’s responsibility to proactively intervene to protect children, it is also an opportunity for further discussions regarding the code of silence that seemingly permeates many institutions.
According to today’s New York Times “A Philadelphia jury found Monsignor William J. Lynn guilty on one count of endangering the welfare of children in the first trial of a Roman Catholic official for covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests under his supervision. He was acquitted on two other counts.” To read the article click http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/23/us/philadelphias-msg-william-j-lynn-is-convicted-of-allowing-abuse.html?emc=na
The verdict sends a strong message that no one is above the law and particularly that those in positions of authority, have a responsibility to protect children from abuse. The cases in the recent news are tragic. They capture the attention of the public at large and shine the light on the accounts that rape crisis advocates hear about and address on a daily basis.
They are also indicative of a strong need for increased not decreased resources aimed at preventing childhood sexual abuse. The Spectrum of Prevention seems like a viable approach to changing attitudes. Only by increasing individual knowledge, promoting education and influencing policy, can we begin to permeate institutional cultures which allow their leadership to look the other way. When we are able to engage communities and hold perpetrators and officials accountable, we will  strengthen our ability to prevent childhood sexual abuse!