Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Was Joe Paterno molested as a child ?

Years ago, in a training that addressed symptoms of children who have been sexually abused, the trainer said, once you have started learning this material, you cannot unlearn it.

"You cannot unring a bell".

I am passionate about baseball and baseball history, and increasingly am informed about basketball, and especially the Providence College Friars Mens' Basketball. I can tell you which college basketball coaches have the most wins in their records.
Football, college or professional, has been completely foreign to me.

The issue of sexual abuse of children, however, is one I have been schooled in professionally (academically and not)for over 20 years.

When I was first told how many girls and boys experience sexually inappropriate behavior by caregivers, sometimes family members, and by other adults, I was shocked.
As I became prepared to hear adults share their histories, I found that many women and men did have traumas to refer to.

In some of my work, I have taken very quick histories, the kind where you ask about family background, illnesses, and "dysfunctions/abuses"....and we did not ask for many details, but we asked people to be truthful or to let us know, if they preferred not to answer...We asked people not to give us an answer they thought we were looking for.

I learned that survivors of sexual abuse do not offer any one image as adults. Some became very religious and/or spiritual, some not. Some had many partners as adults, some not. Some married, some not. Some developed alcoholism, other addictions, depression, etc. Some were healthy in every way.

Was Joe Paterno molested as a child ?

I have no idea.

I no longer assume that any one is free of that experience.

Outside of professional settings, I have found friends, and in one instance, the parent of a friend, have survived different forms of abuse. Sometimes, it was "just" being groped, or "just" related to pornography. Some were touched "just" once, and someone entered the room, or they were able to avoid that relative for the rest of their lives.

I hope that Joe did not experience any form of child abuse. That is what I hope for everyone.

I know that some who survive never tell anyone. They are not interested in hearing about others' experiences.

They find ways to forget.

I believe that he regretted doing the minimum when he was given McQueary's report.

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ALL persons in Rhode Island are required by law (RIGL 40-11-3) to report known or suspected cases of child abuse and/or neglect to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families within 24 hours of becoming aware of such abuse/neglect.

Call the Hotline at 1-800-RI-CHILD (1-800-742-4453) to report child abuse and/or neglect!

The bold italicized text above is copied from the DCYF site.

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