Ronnie Polaneczky of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes:
“What if so many of Jerry Sandusky’s victims hadn’t needed father figures in the first place?”
Easy answer: This never would’ve happened.
The Second Mile, the organization that Sandusky founded to help disadvantaged children and then trolled to find his victims, was full of kids from homes that were fatherless. So it’s been hard not to see the Sandusky horror as a sweeping indictment of missing fathers. After all, of Sandusky’s eight known victims (two more remain unidentified), six had no father in their lives and three admitted to never having known their dads at all.
On the witness stand, many of the boys said that they’d regarded Sandusky as the father they’d never had.
He “treated me like a son in front of other people. … Outside of that, he treated me like his girlfriend,” said one victim.
Another victim testified, “I didn’t want to lose the good things I had. I looked at Jerry as kind of a father figure. … I didn’t want to lose somebody actually paying attention to me.”
His words are an aching reminder of how badly a young child craves a grown man’s glowing consideration. So much so, he may endure monstrous acts to avoid losing it. Wily deviants like Sandusky know this. And they circle needy kids like vultures, waiting for the right moment to pounce on all that need.
“A child without a strong support system is the easiest child to get to,” says prosecutor Kathleen Kane. “Even a child from a wealthy, two-parent home can become a victim if he is emotionally detached from his parents. Or if he has emotional issues that make him vulnerable.”
And, of course, just because a child is from a fatherless home doesn’t mean that Mom can’t do an outstanding job protecting him. But too many kids without dads are having their innocence stolen from them. Do all you can to make sure that never happens to your youngsters or any you know. Here are 5 ways to protect your children from a pedophile.
Huddle up with your children tonight and talk to them in an age-appropriate manner about staying away from sexual predators.