Father's Day and Jerry Sandusky

Father's Day is not a fun one for me.  As some of you know, my father is a child molester and I was one of his victims.  I know I am not alone in experiencing mixed emotions during Father's Day and some have different reasons than my own.  However, there are some great dads out there and they deserve to be honored.  If you are one of those dads, and you know who are even if you did not receive a new drill or tie, Happy Father's Day.  Keep up the good work.  Your kids need you.  You are significant in their lives and you must never forget it--even on your worst of days.

Father's Day and Money

According to the History Channel American’s spend 1 billion dollars each year on Father’s Day gifts.  That’s a lot of money.  I am sure many dads deserve to be honored with gifts on this designated day to honor, but I can think of many more deserving ways to spend that much money.

If we took the money we spend on Father’s Day gifts and gave it to an organization that supports the prevention of child abuse, we could make an impact on moving towards eliminating child abuse.  This would result in world full good dads, dads who as children grew up in supportive environments.
I am not saying the good dads out there do not deserve to be honored.  They do.  But how about cooking up a good breakfast with items you already have in your refrigerator and finding a piece of paper and pen and making a handmade card with a poem authored by the kids?
I think the same should be done for Mother’s Day, too.  Little girls who grow up in supportive environments grow up to be supportive moms.
Also, preventing child abuse is good for the economy.
According to the Pew Charitable Trust, child abuse costs our nation 103.8 billion dollars a year:
The 103.8 billion cost of child abuse and neglect includes more than $33 billion in direct costs for foster care services, hospitalization, mental health treatment, and law enforcement.  Indirect costs of over $70 billion include loss of productivity, as well as expenditures related to chronic health problems, special education, and the criminal justice system. (source)
Loss of productivity impacts the economy as does tax dollars spent on foster care services and the criminal justice system.  So what would happen if we all took just a little of that Father’s Day gift money and donated it to an organization that works to prevent child abuse?  What would happen if we all took time after making our donations to learn how to prevent child abuse?   We could make a difference. 
The financial costs of child abuse is substantial, but let’s not forget the cost that is immeasurable—pain and suffering that lasts a lifetime:
. . .it is impossible to calculate the impact of the pain, suffering, and  reduced quality of life that victims of child abuse and neglect experience.  These “intangible losses”, though difficult to quantify in monetary terms, are real and should not be overlooked.  Intangible losses, in fact, may represent the largest cost component of violence against children and should be taken into account when allocating resources. (PCAAmerica)
Here are some organizations that work to prevent child abuse, could use your donation, and can provide you with information to learn to prevent child abuse:

Jerry Sandusky Stands Trial

Jerry Sandusky who is accused of 52 counts of molesting 10 boys over 14 years maintains his innocence.  His trial began on Monday June 11 wherein testimony from The Sandusky 8, the victims in the trial, was damaging to Sandusky at best.  At some point in the coming week, Sandusky himself is to take the stand in his own defense.  The defense is claiming the victims are in pursuit of financial gain and plan to have an expert testify that Sandusky has a psychiatric disorder—histrionic psychiatric disorder—that caused him to seek the boys attention.  Meaning, he wasn’t really grooming them so that he could rape them he just needed friends.
As uncomfortable as it is, it’s important to stay aware of what transpires during the Sandusky trial.  The Pennsylvania Coalition against Rape (PCAR) has invaluable resources available that parents, school officials, government officials, and anyone concerned with the effects of child abuse on our society should read.  It’s not a short list, so if you just have time for one, be sure to read Talking Points: Child Sexual Abuse.  At the very least, we all should be talking about it.  You can also follow the PCAR blog and real time updates via Twitter from PCAR during the trial.
Keep in mind, although difficult, incredibly difficult, it is possible to heal from child sexual abuse.  In response the hearing victims testimony during the Sandusky trial, Chris Carlton wrote an inspiring piece expressing support for the victims:
So, where does that leave me? Well…hopeful. Not for me—I feel like one of the lucky ones; I’ve found help. I’m hopeful for the men who have yet to reach out for help because what they need is right at their fingertips. The resources they believe are unattainable are within sight. The next three weeks of media bombardment need not be sustained alone and without defense—the bunker is much stronger, much larger and much fuller than anyone might think. To feel less alone and to get a glimpse at some of the millions strong in this bunker, visit 1in6.org/men/other-guys-like-me/.
Be sure to click the link above and read the entire post.  After, visit 1 in 6.  Learn about child sexual abuse.  Information is empowering.  When empowered, we can be a force of prevention.
Happy Father's Day.

Kimberly S. at Sperk*



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