Penn State turns sex abuse scandal into a successful agenda-setting item

This post is probably long overdue. The Penn State scandal is not exactly breaking news anymore. Sure, the news still covers it. The news carries stories about case proceedings and new victims stepping forward. At first, I wanted to let the scandal marinate; I didn’t want to jump in with my beliefs on the horrific events that happened.  I wanted to cover something different about Jerry Sandusky and his sex-abuse scandal.

Long time defensive coordinator, Sandusky, was accused of sexually assaulting eight boys in 15 years and using his charity to seek out the boys. Penn State went into a state of disarray. Amid the scandal, Penn State Board of Trustees fired Joe Paterno, who had served as head coach for 46 years.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, just days after firing Paterno, the Nittany Lions used their home game against Nebraska to bring awareness to a greater cause–child sexual assault and abuse. The Nittany Lions, known for wearing white during home games, donned blue to support children who underwent sexual abuse. The following is from the Facebook page (via NBC) promoting the event:

“In light of the numerous counts of alleged sexual abuse recently charged against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, wear blue to the Nebraska game to support the victims of child abuse worldwide. The Blue Ribbon Campaign against child abuse began 22 years ago and is recognized across the country. In addition to being the color of our team’s home game jerseys, blue represents the color of bruises that have too often been neglected. Let’s make national news for our collective actions to show solidarity with both the victims and our fellow classmates on the field. Even if you can’t make the game, feel free to “attend” this event by wearing blue wherever you may be! We do not have to wait until THON to prove that Nittany Lions remain ‘For The Kids.’ On November 12, make it a blue-out.

Statistics: It is estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will have experienced an episode of sexual abuse while younger than 18 years. The numbers of boys affected may be falsely low because of reporting techniques (Botash, Ann, MD, Pediatric Annual, May, 1997).”

Nearly 400 students also stationed themselves throughout Beaver Stadium to collect money for ChildHelp, a non-profit organization that helps in the prevention and treatment of child abuse. According to the Facebook page, Penn State raised $22,500 at the game plus an unknown amount in t-shirt sales.

Despite being in the midst of a horrible scandal, Penn State successfully brought attention to a lingering world-wide problem. Penn State showed support to the victims of Sandusky and victims throughout America, and brought the issue to the forefront of society through its efforts at one football game.


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2 responses to “Penn State turns sex abuse scandal into a successful agenda-setting item”

  1. Gene Scholes, VP Marketing at Childhelp says :

    Hello, thanks for the great blog on this subject. We noticed a comment about monies raised in our name. Again, this is awesome, but we were unaware that it was happening. Any chance you can reveal your source on this so we can follow up and get the funds working for the cause?? Thanks again, and perhaps, we’ll do a follow up piece providing a state of the union of child abuse and where funds are needed. Gene

    • Rachel Starr says :

      When reading through a few articles about the efforts Penn State took to raise awareness about child abuse, they mentioned that students stationed themselves throughout Beaver stadium with containers collecting money. The articles said money was going to be donated to ChildHelp and RAINN. This is the link where I read that money was being donated to ChildHelp. If this information is incorrect, then I apologize and I will correct what I wrote.

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