Monday, June 25, 2012

JERRY SANDUSKY'S VICTIMS AREN'T ALONE ON THEIR ROAD TO RECOVERY

The Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse trial is over.  The long road to recovery for his victims, is just beginning.


I should know, as it's a path I'm currently traveling.


Like the young men who bravely took the stand in the Sandusky trial, I was molested as a child.  That's still not easy for me to say, let alone write and share publicly, but if we've learned anything from the Sandusky scandal it's that the time for silence is over.  As I heard one Sandusky victim put it, it's time to "find my voice."


It was something I couldn't do when I was molested.  I didn't speak out, no matter how many chances I may have had.  I just couldn't.  Travis Weaver, one of the young men who testified in front of the grand jury in the Sandusky case but not at trial did an interview which aired on Rock Center last week.  He said he was scared to say anything because he thought no one would believe him.  I know that feeling.


That's what these monsters count on, our silence.  They have the power and they know it.  


In my case, my monster was a babysitter, a neighborhood teen that my parents and others trusted.  I had been told to obey him, like any other babysitter or authority figure.  Forget the shame, fear, and overwhelming confusion that went along with the sexual abuse, we both knew that he was the one in charge.  Is it any wonder my silence came so easily?


Strangers are supposed to be the ones we fear, not people we know.  How many times have you heard the phrase "stranger danger?"  Yet in many cases of child molestation if only the opposite were true.  One expert I heard Friday night on MSNBC said that about 90% of the cases of child sexual abuse involve someone known to the victim.  That held true for me and for the victims of Jerry Sandusky.


Like some of those young men, I was in my early 20s when I first acknowledged that I had been molested.  The abuse happened twice.  It was inappropriate touching, fondling of genitalia.  It may not have been as frequent or severe as what I read about in the case of Sandusky's victims but that doesn't make the abuse I suffered any less real or the shame I felt any less overwhelming. 


As I tried to come to terms with the abuse through therapy,  I  eventually had to tell my parents and my brother what had happened.  It wasn't just to take the shame or embarrassment away, there was more to it.


You see the kid in me, the kid that was abused, had expected them to protect me and they didn't.  That sounds crazy seeing as they didn't know what was going on and surely would have stopped the abuse if they had.  The thing is as children we expect people like our parents or older siblings to protect us no matter what.  We can't rationalize between when they realistically can or can't.   


My feelings surrounding the abuse were those of the child that was molested not the adult trying to overcome it.


When I did tell my parents and my brother, I remember the reaction as if it were yesterday.  All of them told me how sorry they were that they didn't see any signs, that they didn't stop the abuse, that they weren't there for me.  Just knowing they wanted to protect me, as I had expected them to do, helped ease the pain I was still feeling from childhood.  I only wish I could ease the feeling of guilt I fear they will always have.  


The truth is, no one suspected the abuse in my case.  


I remember faking a stomach ache to try to keep my parents from going out when I knew my abuser was coming to babysit, but my silent cry was also the same tactic I used when another sitter was scheduled and I just wanted my parents to stay.  How would they know the difference?  I truly believe no one could have stopped the abuse unless I had told someone.


Maybe that's why I'm so sickened and angry by what unfolded in the Sandusky case.   People knew.  One mother spoke out.  Mike McQueary was an eye witness.  At the very least, we know alleged abuse was reported within the Penn State football administration and Athletic Department.  Still it continued.


I understand being scared of a program.  I understand being beyond uncomfortable talking about child molestation.  I don't understand so many people putting their fear and discomfort ahead of the safety and innocence of children.


I can't even imagine the anger that's added for Sandusky's victims. 


I've heard people talk about those boys being "at risk kids", lacking the support system to help protect them.  I had an incredible support system and it still happened to me. 


There's no discrimination when it comes to child sexual abuse.  It isn't a socioeconomic issue, a racial issue, or even one of gender.  


Think about it.  Travis Weaver, who I mentioned earlier, was a young boy from a broken home, growing up without a lot of means.  I was a  young girl from a supportive and loving family growing up in an upper middle class neighborhood.  We couldn't be more different and yet we both suffered, in silence.


The Pennsylvania Attorney General talked about people like Sandusky lurking in dark corners.  I couldn't disagree more.  Sandusky was out there for all to see, so was my babysitter.  Sadly, so are many others.  If they were in dark corners it might be easier to spot them.  In the open, it's any one's guess.


While we may not want to see abuse like this, it is time to open our eyes.  Just like it is time to find our voices.


Until now I hadn't shared my story publicly. 


After telling my parents and brother years ago, I went on to share it with people I trusted or I thought needed to know: a few serious boyfriends and some of the people I consider lifelong friends.  When news of the Sandusky scandal first broke, I told a few colleagues about the abuse. 


I soon realized the good that could come out of such an awful thing.  


You see a couple of the people I shared my story with were also victims and went on to share their stories for the first time.  My courage helped them find theirs.   I can't begin to tell you what that means to me.


Beyond that, I've learned that each time I tell my story, I let go of some of the shame and guilt I've carried with me for years.  Those feelings so deeply buried at times they seem never ending.  So truth be told, my sharing right now is really just a part of that long road to recovery I mentioned earlier, the one Jerry Sandusky's victims are just beginning.  


I'd like to thank them for helping me take this latest step, finding my voice.  I hope by doing so, I can help others find theirs.


DJ












65 comments:

  1. Dana- I share my life with a beautiful woman, my wife for 31 years. She is a survivor of abuse by several family members over a number of years. I had no idea of anything until several years after we were married. She has made herself into such a great friend and wife, but our lives are affected every day by this insidious and prevalent problem. We deal with the consequences of past abuse often.

    Thank you so much for sharing your deepest secret with us, your friends. It does help the healing process for many others and their loved ones. I appreciate your willingness to try to help people in similar circumstances. We Love You for it.

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    1. Your wife sounds like an incredibly strong woman and I have no doubt she appreciates the support she has from you.

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  2. Dana- No one man or woman is strong at first when exposed to abuse. I, also, am a survivor of child abuse as a toddler and had buried it so deep it wasn't until 2006 when I uncovered that dark truth and was able to begin to truly grow into a man. I feel for these victims and for any and all who are abused and are survivors of abuse.

    Dana, so proud of your openness about the abuse issue and admire your strength and courage

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    1. Be proud of yourself for the steps you've taken!

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  3. Thank you for sharing Dana. I know that pain too. I'm working through my own feelings of being abused by people who were supposed to protect me. Hearing you share did help me. Sometimes I feel like I'm whining when I talk about it, like it defines me & I have to set it aside or people will be tired of hearing about it. But hearing you say it makes it ok to talk about. We're not the ones who deserve that shame, those evil abusers do. Thank you Dana.

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    1. You do what you need to do to try and heal so that you can move on. There's no set way or time table for it. Stay strong.

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  4. I really thank you for sharing this story. I can't imagine how hard it has been to keep this for so long until you told your parents. I was so touched by your story that I posted a link to it as well.Thank you for your bravery.
    sportreport.com

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  5. It certainly was brave to tell your story. The take home message for everyone should be that you have to be on guard for everyone. It is uncomfortable being on guard with your children on this because 99% of the time, you are trusting your child with someone perfectly safe. But you really have to take precautions against that 1%.

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    1. We can't live in fear but we do have to trust our gut and be open with kids even about the uncomfortable things. Sadly even that isn't always enough but we do what we can!

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  6. Kudos for telling your story and in doing so helping so many - the way you were helped by others sharing. It is important that every child realizes they have the right to be safe, the right to have a voice, and learn how to access help. Our nonprofit www.kidsafefoundation.org is on a mission to provide prevention education to adults and children to prevent child abuse. We just recently wrote a blog about what happens to survivors when stories about child abuse are making the news -
    http://www.modernmom.com/blogs/kidsafe-foundation-sally-cherie/child-abuse-headlines-how-does-it-make-a-survivor-feel
    Thank you again!
    Working together to keep KidSafe!
    Sally Berenzweig, MEd, MA Child Safety Expert, Mental Health Professional, Educator, Author, Mom and Cofounder KidSafe Foundation

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    1. Sounds like a great organization. Thank you for the daily effort to make a difference.

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    2. I just took a look at the site Sally. Small world. Wendi on your Board of Directors I believe I met this past December as she's worked closely with my mother as she's been working for the Democratic Party in Boca Raton. If I can ever be of any help to your group I hope you'll reach out.

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    3. Thanks so much for your response and taking the time to look at our site- we would LOVE your help (just sent you a direct message via twitter with my personal email) - Wendi is incredible - we are so lucky to have - and we are humbled by your offer to help our nonprofit!

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    4. Dana, you have the courage to tell the your story about what happened. The Sandusky story got me angry, and everyone who protected him should be in prison. It is ashamed that Sandusky abused his job at Penn State to do this. Rob Layton

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  7. Dana, thank you so much for this. I went to school with your brother Mark and saw your blog on his post today. I'm planning to share your blog on my FB wall with the status "It happened to me too." Like you, now that I have the courage to tell my story more easily, I find everytime I do, someone else tells me theirs. Hopefully posting this very publicly today will continue to help spread this courage, and at the very least let the world know how horribly common this crime really is.

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    1. Janet so very courageous of you. Mark called me to make sure that I had seen this.

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    2. Thank you Dana. Another friend of mine followed my lead and posted too, so your public statement inspired at least 2 more. I read this about bravery and I'll paraphrase it here:
      Bravery is not a feeling to wait for, it is a decision. A decision to choose compassion over fear. A decision to do what you know is right. It is hard, but we can do hard things.

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  8. Dana,
    It wasn't until I was in my 30's that I acknowledged being molested as a young child by my step-brother. And, it wasn't until I went to a therapist that I realized I was a victim, and not culpable in any way.
    When I looked at the molestation through the eyes of a 4 year old, I realized I had NO choice, that my physical and emotional reactions to the abuse, were not a sign of "liking it" or cause to blame myself. I had been ashamed for so long, and it affected my life in so many ways. It took me a long time to accept that I was innocent....to myself.
    My suggestion for anyone who's in this type of situation, go into therapy where you are free to exorcise your demons without fear or judgement. It worked wonders for me, and took a tremendous weight off my shoulders.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Without therapy I cannot imagine what this would have been like to deal with.

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  9. Dana: what became of your molester? Was he confronted by you or your family? Were charges filed against him?

    I believe these "low-lives" should be made to pay for their crimes and not be given a pass.

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    1. I don't know for certain. I've done a little research to try to find him but we had moved away long before I ever told anyone about this.

      They should pay for their crimes. Sadly even if I had tried to press charges when I did open up and admit what had happened I wouldn't have been able to because it was more than 10 years later and I was over 21 (statute of limitations had run out).

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  10. Thank you for sharing your story. You've helped more people than you'll ever know.

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  11. Bravo Dana! As a fellow survivor I know how it is and share your pain! I know that you are also a Michigan alum and I am a fan of both the football and hockey programs! God Bless You for speaking out and GO BLUE! What are you doing now since you left ESPN?

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    1. Fortunately the pain is rare these days which is why we are survivors!

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  12. You've done an incredible thing by finding your strength and sharing your story with the world. It is acts like this that give others, less public figures, te courage to open up and share their stories, which as you said is such a critical aspect of working towards recovery. While I was never the victim of child abuse, I have seen first hand the ravaging effects of this silent epidemic. My ex-wife was a victim and her inability to confront her past and speak openly about her abuse or seek treatment for the myriad effects of twenty years of silence led to the collapse of my marriage and the loss of my sons mother. Hopefully more people like you can step forward and slowly we can change this society of silence to one of openness and recovery. Hopefully the guilt and shame of so many uncounted, unheard victims can be replaced with a common strength to fight this epidemic that hamstrings so many bright lives. Hopefully yours is one voice that inspires a thousand

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    1. Thank you. Several good points and observations and your compassion is appreciated.

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  14. Even for someone like me, who luckily never experienced anything like what you suffered, it's impossible to imagine the amount of courage necessary to be able to share such traumatic memories with the world, and I deeply hope you can feel the immense positive impact you are, and will be, making on those who had similar experiences happening to themselves or to their loved ones.

    Congratulations on being able to come out stronger after something that could easily destroy most of us, and on using that strength to empower others with similar experiences.

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    1. Thank you for saying as much. It wasn't so much courage just knowing it was the right thing to do to try to help and to make something good come from something so bad.

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  15. Dana, as the mother of a sexual assault survivor (no, don't refer to y'all as victims b/c you're not!) I thank you for speaking out. 5 years ago my then 4yo was sexually assaulted by a teen boy. Someone we knew.

    Unlike many children, my daughter told me right away. She knew what he did was wrong. And despite threats she obviously knew her dad and I needed to know.

    As we went through the process of the investigation, depositions, trial I kept hearing how extraordinary my family's situation was. A child who discloses, whose parents believe her, whose parents fight to protect their child and get her her day in court. I don't see this as extraordinary, just doing my job as her mom.

    I'm so sorry you lived in silence, unable to tell your family for many years. Living with shame, sadness, and many other emotions. And then with guilt.

    My daughter doesn't speak openly about her sexual assault. I hope it's because it doesn't define her and not because of shame.

    As the parent of a sexual assault survivor it's not easy to speak out. It's not really my story. Although, I do have a story to tell. Kids are cruel and they'll use anything against their peers. I'm sure something with the word "SEX" in it would be used to bully a young girl.

    I'm glad so many others sexual assault survivors speak out because of your bravery to step forward. The more that men and women step out from behind the curtain of shame and put a name to survivor and take back their power the easier it will be for children to speak up and end the violence.

    My best to you as you continue to heal.

    Sara
    Twitter: @Saving4Someday
    Blog: http://www.savingforsomeday.com/today-i-banish-shame/

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    1. Sara you moved me to tears. In an early draft of what I posted, I actually had started off by saying I'm a survivor. I believe as you do that we are survivors as we learn to deal with what happened and move on. So glad that your daughter has such a supportive family like I do.

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  16. Thanks for sharing...I too experienced molestation as a child. Like you it was a couple of times much like your experience. Thankful it wasn't worse...but it's abuse, all the same. I was quiet for 10 years...so 20 years ago when I was 15, I shared the truth with my family when the person was arrested for molesting another child, my grandma didn't believe he could do such a thing & I had to tell her he did it to me when I was 5. It rocked my families world...unfortunately, at the time they were learning it happened to my, my precious little brother had experienced molestation from a step-cousin...we didn't learn about it for years...it broke my heart. I've recently worked through forgiveness of my abuser thanks to a counselor from my church. It's been very freeing to walk through that. Thankfully God has put a few very important people in my life that walked through healing from sexual abuse years before me and I had them to turn to to talk things out over the years. I pray many more speak out against this horrible crime.

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    1. Im so sorry for what you went through and your family. Finding forgiveness or some level of peace isn't easy. We all go through our own process I'm glad you've found such success in yours.

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  17. Thank for sharing Dana, as a dad to two daughters this is very helpful to me. I want nothing more than to protect them as well as I can. Your story reminds me of what to look for and how to talk to them to let them know they can talk to me and my wide about anything/everything. Thanks for being a hero! Your bravery and courage will not only help others speak out, but also protect others from having a need to speak out! Thanks again!

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    1. Not a hero just someone trying to do what is right and make something good come from something so bad. My dad was always there for me and no doubt would have been in this case if I'd said something, he certainly was after. Strong fathers raise strong daughters so good for you!

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  18. Recently one of my former students (now in her late 30's) contacted me via FB. She wrote, "You saved my life." She said that at a time when she was being abused and considered suicide,I treated her like a real person. Although I felt good about that, I know that if we (her teachers) had been equipped with more knowledge, perhaps we could have removed her from the situation. Thank goodness for in-service days (which taxpayers and parents seem to hate) and continued research about all kinds child abuse and other issues. As the years passed, we did learn more. And I worked in support groups with kids and things may have improved in general. But... at the time in the 80's when that lovely young gifted student was in my class, I had a nagging feeling that something was "just not right" about her family. I cannot take any credit for her rise to a good place. I'm so happy she survived and is now a teacher. I know she will do good work. I wonder how many others will come forward because of all the reporting on the Sandusky victims. I hope those who suffer PTSD get help. I hope we are ready to be of service to all of them.

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    1. It's a different process for us all but I think there will be good to come from this awful scandal for others.

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  19. Dana - I'm sure it took courage to share your story & I wish you the best going forward. It must have been a horrible experiecen. If you have not already done so, I hope you will track this guy down, confront him as an adult woman and give the beating of his life.

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    1. America is No. 1 - in absurd behavior. Sex offenders, serial killers, reckless drug abuse... It's a wonder how an intelligent person would stay there.

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  20. You are so not alone. I've been near or in tears Friday since the verdict. My perpetrators were certainly not shadowy, lurking people. They started and ran a major midwestern cafeteria chain. They were benevolent. They were pillars of the community. They were also my aunt, my uncle, and my grandfather, and a grandmother who walked in on it and turned and walked out. (Oh, and sometimes they brought friends.) My therapy lasted about eight years, and while I'm much, much better, I'm still scarred in many deep and tender ways. Thank you for your courage to speak and more importantly, for your courage to heal. Never, never, never give up.

    I wrote about the implications of the whole Sandusky case, too, on my blog, which deals with healing, too:
    http://amysorrells.wordpress.com
    Amy K. Sorrells
    Words of Hope for a Hurting World

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    1. Good for you. As I said there is some good that can come from such an awful thing.

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  21. I love what you're doing here, Dana. For the record I have tried to do the same, although my reach is understandably less. I would be remiss if I didn't link to my attempt to help (even if it is in a really small way). Thanks for standing up and speaking your truth.

    http://matthewtrent.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/i-was-molested/

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    1. No story is small, it is your story. As I said in my piece there is no discrimination here. Abuse is abuse. Every one of us who says something helps, nothing small about that either.

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  22. Dana, thank you for sharing your story, and yes you are so right, telling you story of abuse helps others to speak up and tell their story. They don't feel so alone.

    I have worked with SNAP for nine years now, and after hearing hundreds of horrific stories of kids who were sexually abused, I learned something new a couple of months ago, from a newly forthcoming victim.

    She said the reason she finally decided to speak up and seek help was because of all the news about the Penn State Sandusky sex abuse.
    She told me the news and the graphic grand jury report, helped to remove the "taboo" of speaking about having been sexually abused as a child.

    This subject needs to be talked about much more, and victims should be treated with respect and are to be applauded.

    It is way past time to stop those who enable and empower child predators to sexually abuse more kids.
    People are starting to realize the victims are telling the truth and the laws need to be changed so those who commit crimes against kids and those who cover up those crimes, are held accountable.

    This is the only hope for the safety of our children today.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    snapjudy@gmail.com
    "Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.

    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the
    world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite
    the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by
    religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis,
    bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were
    assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer
    camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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    1. Thank you for sharing Judy. I do think laws have to change for us to ensure that the people who commit these crimes are held accountable. I'd love to believe that more kids will speak out but knowing how tough that is, not sure if that's realistic.

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  23. Very brave of you Dana to share something so private I hope it inspires other victims of abuse to get the help they need.

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    1. Thank you. Can't be afraid to ask for help. I'm not good at it, but I've done it!!

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  24. 30 years later, I still feel the fallout from what happened to ne. Thank you for coming forward and sharing your story.

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    1. It doesn't go away quickly but I hope it's at least lessened (the fallout that is). Hopefully it doesn't define your life, whoever hurt you doesn't deserve to have that power over you.

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  25. Dana thank u for sharing that story I to was a victim and I did not say anything intill I was 12 I got help for my problems and I encourage those who are victims too speak out loud

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  26. Dana it saddens me to hear this. I was sick with this entire case. I live in PA and you can't help but to follow this story. This could have been STOPPED in 1998 when the first victim came forward. If a priest in PA can be convicted for endangering the welfare of a child the attorney general should go after the DA that did not pursue prosecution in that case. Celebrity or high profile people in the community should be treated like any other person.

    It is people like yourself that need to come forward and share their story. If you help just one person by sharing your story you have helped save someone and that feels good. I am a recovering attic to prescription drugs for pain. I share my story every time I get a chance. Weather its abuse or addiction we need to continue to share and help the ones in need. This story will help someone and you may never know it but keep sharing. We all need to keep this topic alive for years to come!!!

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  27. Ciao Dana,
    I truly hope this blog helped you and others. As a former law enforcement official i have seen my share of the horror that is child abuse. I was fortunate enough to have a small part in the 'Clyde Turner' (high school track coach) case in Pasadena,Ca. And having gone to John Muir High school, was glad to assist in his arrrest. I believe their are other victims of his, but none came forward. I'm not sure where you are now because I haven't been able to keep up lately with ESPN. I'm praying for you to continue to have a blessed life and a easier healing process.
    Ray C.

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  28. Dear Dana Jacobson, I really want to thank you for all your hard work you put in at ESPN as well as other Jobs you had. I also want to thank you for telling your story about child abuse. I had a roommate who tired to sexually abuse me lucky for me I was able to fight back and defend myself. I have watched go from Cold Pizza to First Take on ESPN. And you came off so professional, and smart at the same time. I couldn't imagine how you were able to keep those emotion inside. And being a female in a sports world mostly be men you still shined bright. I'm glad you told your story so people like you and other victims are shed light on these Sic bastards who are doing this to people and getting away with it. I pray now that your story is told and the secret is off your back you can finally get some peace. I also pray that you can go back to having sweet dreams and not nightmares about the past. From the bottom of my heart I apologize for what you had to go through and keep inside all these years. I but I thank you for telling your story as well. Keep up the good work in what you do. Always be the best in the world at what you do. As for me I'm doing good as well I'm studying now to become a therapist so people can always feel the need to talk. FYI. I'm also from Detroit as well and attend Wayne State University.

    Thank you so much for being a shining star when nights get dark and lonely
    Barron Hudson

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  29. I am 41 years old. I was abused when I was between the ages of 8-9. I too was molested by an older boy in the neighborhood, a friend of my brothers. He had a younger sister and she and I are still friends.
    All of my teenage years I knew there was something different about me - a darkness, a pain. When I was 18 and heading to college, I told my mom that I think something happened to me as a child and she agreed, believing, "Something happened to me and recalled a time my grandmother found blood in my underwear."
    All my life I have searched for memories, trying to recall those events to push through and understand where the pain still comes from. Years of counseling did nothing more than bring me to a point or realization that I probably never would know (Including a diagnoses of bipolar at the age of 21 - in the middle of a D1 basketball scholarship).
    When I finally married, started a family, I had no need for memories (though they still happen); happy and "grown up," I wanted to leave behind that pain. But a few months ago I ran into m attacker. I occasionally see him - my reaction? Angry. But that day was different. My guard was down due to the death of a close friend who lost her life to breast cancer. All of that pain flooded back and I became "closer than ever" to the truth of exactly what happen - I didn't want it, didn't need it, but it is and always will be who I am.
    For the first time in ten years, I have to reenter counseling and revisit/relive my childhood self. Unfair? Usually a summer that is filled with relaxation and refueling for the upcoming school year (I teach) is what I look forward to most (that and revising curriculum :)), but not this summer.
    Dana, I appreciate your honesty and openness, your compassion and strength. Jerry's Sandusky's trial has been hard for us all that have been there and I pray to parents to be vigilant in their own children's lives.
    I especially appreciate you conveying about the pain you felt from your family - even though it wasn't their fault, we blame them. Right or wrong. I grew up as you (upper middle class, two working parents, house full of brothers (3)). Even as this all has flooded back, I am so angry with my mother.
    God bless you ;)
    Amy

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  30. Dana,

    This may surprise you - and you'd want to consult with local counsel - but the statute of limitations may not necessarily have run out with regards to a civil action in this matter. If many tort cases, if you were a minor at the time the alleged molestation took place, then the statute of limitations may _not_ run from when the alleged crime occurred. Rather, it tolls from the day you turn 18 years old (reach the age of majority). This is because as a child, you lack the capacity to determine whether you should file an action against the accuser. You attain this capacity as soon as you reach the age of majority - and this is when the statute of limitations begins to toll. Thus, in calculating whether the statute of limitations has indeed expired (ideally through counsel), you'd begin the applicable statue of limitations period from the day you turned 18. If you are still within that time-period now, you should be able to proceed with a civil action. If you're not interested in potential proceeds from a civil action, you could donate the money to reputable charity that helps victims of such crimes, such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

    It's distressing when these terrible things happen, but some good may come of it - as it already has, by your coming forward to both sooth and enlighten others that have experienced similar trauma.

    Marc

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  31. Dana,
    Thank you for having the courage to tell your story, I know that there is always a certain amount shame and guilt that those of us that were victimized can never quite shake. The Penn State boys need to know that their pain was not in vain, but I can already see just days after Sandusky's conviction the media spotlight fading. So it will be up to us, the many thousands of victims that have never come forward to find our voice and speak out. Indeed the acts of these sexual predators can only be decsribed as monstrous, but it is a mistake for our society in general to be looking for monsters hiding in the corners. No,these Pedophiles are in plain sight and they are disguised as coaches, priests, school board members, our next door neighbors and even our family members. Now is the time to never go back to the silence. We must tell our stories but even further we must demand new legislation that abolishes the statue of limitations on sexual crimes against children. There is not statue of limitations on murder and as dramatic as this might seem being molested can only be described as a brutal murder of a childhood because NO child has the mental or emotinal capacity to consent to any sexual act.

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  32. Dear dana. May god bless u for your courage to talk about what happened to you. I wish u love and happiness

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  33. Read about your blog on R. Candidate's FB page. GOD bless and continue to be strong!

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  34. Dana, thank you for sharing, I was a victim of a molestation 30 years ago at Church camp by my counselor, most of the memory I pushed way deep down and just remember being so scared of everything as a kid and as a teenager, being afraid and very uncomfortable around men throughout my life and realizing the fear was not real but my mind reacting to that situation over and over again. My life has turned out much better than I coud have ever imagined, was a standout college athlete and now married with children, great job but everyday I take medication and therapy monthly to balance it all. Your story and others help knowing I am not alone. Thanks again and God Bless!!

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  35. Thanks for sharing...

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  36. This is so horrible, so tragic. Dana, bless your heart for speaking out and getting it off your chest. We understand, Dana, we really do. Although I may never know what kind of pain you are going through, I am praying for you and totally supportive of whatever you do. Please stay strong, you will get through your suffering.

    I'm sure you've heard of pitcher R.A. Dickey. He was molested as a child by a baby sitter, as well. I read his book, and goes into detail about it. I am so very sorry you had to go through something like that. I think it's great that you got this off your chest.

    God bless and stay strong, Dana!

    Best regards!!

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