Penn State Scandal - What Would You Do?
A lot of people are heaping scorn on the guy who witnessed the rape of the child and left, calling his father for advice. It's easy to say we would have beaten up the guy, rescued the child immediately and called the police. But sometimes a state of shock sets in. I believe that I would have at least yelled at the guy and not left without taking the boy with me.
One thing that mitigates the witness' lack of action is the fact that the perpetrator was not only a revered figure on campus, but also a very close friend of the father's: so that kind of explains why the guy would call his father first.
Another thing is that the child was not crying or in obvious pain. I do think that makes a difference when you walk in on something like that. It's horrifying, but less so than if the child was crying or screaming. (I know, that's even more horrifying on another level: apparently, it wasn't the first time for this boy.) It's also unlikely that after he was seen, the perpetrator would continue his abuse (at that time).
Some have said that the guy would have taken immediate action if it was a girl. What do you think?
If you caught a close family friend or relative violating a child, think about the shock factor. Honestly do you think you would:
a) intervene directly
b) call the police
c) be in shock and consult with a family member first (The child is not in immediate danger of further abuse.)
Have you ever witnessed a crime or immoral act and been unsure what to do?
I have not seen this story, but from your description I will say this: Evil wins only when the Good do not act.
Problem is governments are oppressing people more and more to the point where people are becoming so afraid that they do not act anymore.
That said, one must fight to keep a pure heart. Seeing such evil being done, regardless of consequences to your own self, one must find the courage to overcome the fear and shout/swing/scream/do something to help the victim. This act of courage is more valuable than the biological life. And it is damn hard. A lot of people do not have the self-confidence for it. But darn it, if anyone is in that place, find the courage, because the pain of the victim, especially the one described here is immense and not even compared to the magnitude of your fear.
As a victim of child abuse and a mother, I was horrified that this guy had witnessed anal sex between an adult and a child and didn't intervene. Although after hearing now how the culture at that school was/is I can understand a bit better.
For myself, I know I would intervene and I would have followed up to make sure the matter was taken care of.
But I can see how a young grad student, hoping to get a job at the school and looking up to the perpetrator as a mentor who was a popular figure at the school would have been worried about his own future at the school. It easier to just close your eyes. I think those people all upset about Paterno's firing are not thinking of the victims. If you haven't been sexually abused, you have no idea how this affects every facet of your life for the rest of your life !
Even though this is tragic, it's good to see this come out in the open. For years, I experienced deep shame about what happened to me. I hope that this will help change attitudes and help other victims come out and report abuse. Hopefully more changes can be made to help prevent this type of thing from happening in the future.
I work in the medical field. It is illegal for me not to report abuse. I have to report to either social services or the police. And I don't know what difference it makes if the child was crying or not.
If the men in question worked for a high school in all likely hood, what they did would have been illegal.
I will probably be in shock and start to think...
I would probably not intervene immediately. I know myself and in this type of situations, I usually freeze instead of taking action.
However, I also know myself well enough that once I was halfway through the hallway, I would come to my senses, go back and take that boy with me.
I wouldn't beat up the guy (I wouldn't be able to, nor want to). I would take the kid to a hospital and call the police.
If, for whatever reason, even with an eye witness the guy wouldn't have been arrested within a few days, I would have gone to the police to ask for an explanation. If none was coming, I would have gone to a major, non-local paper with my story.
Shell shock isn't an appropriate excuse for his refusal to act after the fact.
I would most likely have a visceral reaction and would scream if I walked in on such a scene. A grown man having sex with a minor would not be something I could walk away from. I would call the police.
More abuse could have been prevented if the guy who saw this spoke up early on.
"To intervene or not" is really tough. I have always erred on the side of intervention before, because I wouldn't feel right not doing anything. I think I still stick to that. But something happened a couple weeks ago that gave me pause...
At my workplace, a man started beating his autistic son. Like, right there in front of everyone. I wasn't there at the time, but the people there called the police and prevented him from leaving. But, when the police came, they didn't arrest the man or do ANYTHING -- because our cameras were down, so they couldn't confirm that the beating had happened.
In a situation like that, calling the police will just provoke the abuser, and if the police can't actually arrest them or remove the child, is the abuser going to take that out on the child later?
It definitely made me hesitant about intervening in a situation that I'm physically incapable of changing (like removing a child from a grown man). That said, if I actually walked in on someone raping a child (or beating a child, like my coworkers did), there's no way I would *not* do something. It's just... what if they can't do anything?
I was sexually assaulted as a child and when I told an adult, they told me I was overthinking it.
As an adult now, if I saw something happen, conscience would push me to tell. I just feel that obligation. I understand this man might've been in shock. Not what he expected to see happen. But sometimes we just have to push past our own perceptions of the world and do what's right.
What I would WANT to do if I walked in on Sandusky would be to bash his brains in with a shovel, but what I would actually do...?
If I caught a friend or relative, I would definitely intervene to stop it, and I would notify the child's parents and let them call the police. If they didn't, I would call the police myself.
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