Skip to content

A Look Forward From the Penn State Case

November 23, 2011

by Rachel T., Sexual Violence Center Volunteer

The recent attention on the Penn State sexual assault case has highlighted the effects sexual violence has on victims and the importance of bystander intervention to end this type of violence.

These sexual assault cases are a prime example of power-based personal violence. The victims, all of which were involved with The Second Mile, a non-profit focusing on the personal achievements and potential of youth to grow with positive self skills and self-esteem, were easily accessible to a person of power, Gerald Sandusky, who used this power inappropriately to sexually assault eight victims.

As many others might be thinking when reading about the Penn State case, I can’t help but wonder – how did this happen, not only to one, but eight boys? Somewhere along the way, something went wrong. It is clear that more people should have taken a role in this to end the violence.

I’m not placing the blame on any one person involved in this case, or saying who should have done more. In reality, everyone probably should have done more, but instead of focusing on the past and what could have been done, I think it is more important to look forward. I think these cases give us an opportunity to step back and think about where and how often power-based sexual violence occurs, and what we can do right now, as well as in the future, to prevent it either proactively or reactively.

A good first step to take a stand against violence is to take a look at ending sexual violence in our community and how to be helpful as a bystander. The Green Dot strategy is a strategy aimed at having more people get involved to end violence by being an active bystander (active can be pro- and reactive).

I think a lot of us have been told it is better to mind our own business, but when it comes to sexual violence in our community, we need to take a stand. Any role you can take to get involved will help to get one step closer to ending this type of violence.

No comments yet

What do YOU think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: