The influence of the Jerry Sandusky case on victims of sexual abuse
Posted at: 10/09/2012 3:08 PM
| Updated at: 10/09/2012 5:25 PM
By: Don Hudson | WHEC.com
How influential has the Jerry Sandusky case been for other victims of sex abuse? The Bivona Child Advocacy Center said when it comes to have an impact and influencing victims of sexual abuse to come forward themselves, this case has been the biggest many can remember.
And not just with children, watching the case unfold in the media has encouraged many adult victims to come forward with their stories years later, much like the victims in the Sandusky case.
Anna Potter, Director of Programs and Services at Bivona Child Advocacy Center, said, "We actually got phone calls from adult survivors, people who said that they didn't come forward. That is huge awareness."
As the case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky unfolded, the effect could be felt even here. Anna Potter, the Director of Programs and Services at Bivona Child Advocacy Center says the case opened up the eyes of many victims.
Potter said, “Sex offenders, pedophiles are manipulators, so it isn't usual for victims to grow up thinking that it is normal.”
On Monday, on the eve of the sentencing, Sandusky released a recorded statement from his jail cell.
Sandusky said, “I'm responding to the worst loss of my life. First, I looked at myself. Over and over, I asked why? Why didn't we have a fair opportunity to prepare for trial? Why have so many people suffered as a result of false allegations? What's the purpose? They could take away my life, they could make me out as a monster, they could treat me as a monster, but they can't take away my heart. In my heart, I know I did not do these alleged disgusting acts.”
Sandusky’s failure to take responsibility shocked and disgusted many people. But Potter says it is typical in cases like this. She says it is hard to understand the selfish comments a sex offender makes.
Potter said, “I don't like to put a lot of credence into what he is saying, or even how he is saying it because they aren't honest. They are very focused on their own needs.”
Every victim is different, but Potter says that often the sentencing serves as a huge closure moment for many of them and the moment were they can start to move forward.
If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse you can contact Bivonia at 585-935-7800.
Since opening in August, 2004, Bivona Child Advocacy Center has evaluated and provided treatment & services to more than 9,100 children. The majority of them have been victims of sexual abuse. Forty three percent of the children they see are under the age of seven.