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A blogger on DailyKos.com by the name of SwedishJewfish has posted a tribute to victims of childhood abuse to counter the celebrations today honoring the life of Joe Paterno, who enabled child molester Jerry Sandusky to continue to abuse over the past decade. If you've read my posts in the past weeks, you know that this is an issue that has bothered me too.
Her idea for a tribute is FANTASTIC. You should go read it, and "recommend" it, if you're a member of the site. You should also donate to RAINN.org on her page, if you feel so inclined. (RAINN is the "Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network") and her donation page is right on RAINN's website. The money you donate goes directly to RAINN and is TAX DEDUCTIBLE. They will give you their federal tax ID on your donation receipt.
Her tribute is here: No One Spoke Up for Us: For The Children Who Had No Voice and For those finally finding Theirs
Her RAINN donation page on the RAINN website is here: http://rainnmakers.rainn.org/TreeClimbers you can also find that same link at the bottom of her post, if you don't want to get there from here. As I mentioned before, donations there are TAX DEDUCTIBLE and, they accept paypal and credit cards.
By the way, make sure you read the last section at the end of her post. It really does a great job of summing up every pain that needs to be understood, and that normally goes unsaid.
Pennsylvania Governor Corbett has issued an official expression of condolences for the death of Joe Paterno, stating that "Joe Paterno confronted adversities, both past and present, with grace and forbearance." Further, the Governor has ordered the State Flag to be lowered to half staff in his honor.
In response I have written the below letter to Governor Corbett. Please feel free to lift, plagiarize, cut, paste, bend, fold, and spindle the below, and use to send him a letter or email of your own.
[Update 01/27/2012]: No response from Governor Corbett, not even a form letter. Be shocked if a politician ever responded to this kind of email though.
Dear Governor Corbett,Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
I took a moment today to read your January 22, 2012 expression of condolences on the death of Joe Paterno, and your January 23, 2012 State Flag half staff order in honor of Joe Paterno.
I understand that Joe Paterno has meant a great deal to the State, in terms of fame and publicity, as well as in his “Generosity to Penn State as an institution.”
I would like to take a moment of your time to call attention to the grave damage that child molestation does to its victims. In most cases, children in such situations develop an intense mistrust of the very people who should be able to help them, especially when they perceive that people who should be helping them are failing to do so. These innate, learned responses persist well into adulthood, leading to a very difficult life for many victims of such crimes. In addition to feeling socially awkward our outcast, we typically suffer more health problems than the general population; we have greater odds of engaging in dangerous behaviors, acting out violently, and drug and alcohol abuse. We are often depressed, we have frequent suicidal thoughts, and sometimes, we follow through on those thoughts.
Child Molesters seem to have a unique ability to attach themselves to people who are financially, legally, and politically well connected, so that they have important people to defend them when they are exposed of their heinous crimes. This attachment often becomes insidious, pervasive, and inseparable without perceived sacrifice on the part of the persons defending the molester.
Mike McQueary, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz, Graham Spanier, and Joe Paterno are all people who fell into Jerry Sandusky’s trap, and they DID NOT “confront adversities” with “grace and forbearance.” Instead, they allowed colossal human damage to continue for a decade. Those men were too afraid of damage to their own reputations to stop Sandusky, and it is likely that no one will ever know the number of children victimized.
The victims of such crimes are often very attuned to those people who child molesters use as character witnesses, and the very mention of these supporters opens up wounds anew, almost as painful as the actual abuse was.
Your celebration of the “man,” Joe Paterno, is undoubtedly causing additional pain and grief in those who have suffered, and those who care about them.
It is shameful that your office has issued these tributes without also acknowledging the atrocious damage that Paterno has allowed.
Your office has fallen victim to the same seduction that McQueary, Curley, Schultz, Spanier, and Paterno have fallen for: You gain more popularity by celebrating the hero, than you would in standing up strongly for those damaged. And in so doing, you re-enforce the victim’s distrust of everyone who should have the power to stop the damage.
I hope you will take some time to learn about the damage that child molestation does to people, short and long term, and take it to heart in the future.
His meat-mail and telephone information are here: http://www.governor.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/contact/2998