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June 12, 2012 / janesezso

Child Abuse and the Sandusky Trial

So last night as I listened to excerpts of the Sandusky trial and testimony of the now grown man and the abuse he endured under Sandusky, the chill that went up my spine gave me an icy shudder that seemed to move through every fiber of my being, and it reminded me of my own experience as a 3 year old little girl at the hands of a relative (though, thank God, that even at that age, I knew when something was wrong and I ran away from the “monster”).

Later, I listened to Dr. Savage’s radio show and was absolutely mesmerized by the callers that flooded his telephone lines.  They were, for once, anonymously opening up about the abuse they suffered as children at the hands of relatives and other mature and young adults.  I couldn’t help but cry.  Savage is correct.  Child abuse is one of the most underreported crimes in the country.  Most people, usually men (though many women too), are afraid to report their abuse for fear of being ridiculed, appearing weak, lack of confidence in the system along with many other reasons. So they often suppress memories which undoubtedly come back to haunt them in later years.  At one point, an 82 year old man got on the phone with Dr. Savage and told him how he had been abused when he was 10 years old by a male family friend and that he had never spoken of it before.. until now, 72 years later.  As a result, he has never been able to have a solid relationship with any woman.  And so never had any children.  Another man, now in his 50s, suffered abuse when he was also 10 years old at the hands of a grown man.  Today, he is gay.  He blames being gay on the abuse and that he had been addicted to an “underground sex lifestyle” all his life.  I could hear the sadness in his voice.. a deep tragic sadness.  Dr. Savage asked him if he had regrets about not having had a family, “Yes, very much so,” he said, “being gay is a lonely life.”  Again, I could not hold back the tears.

The Sandusky trial brings sadness for many people; the repressed feelings are resurfacing and the tormented emotions have returned, for me included.  I could never think of this relative of mine without wanting to vomit. Sandusky and people like him should be granted the justice that they deserve. Nothing can ever bring back the innocence that he and people like him have robbed from so many children..  and it resonates deeply within me because I too never told anyone in my family, until now. Because if they are reading this then they already know.

One Comment

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  1. Paul Mastriano / Jun 14 2012 5:10 pm

    Powerful stuff.

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