Sunday, June 17, 2012

Save It for Later: Father's Day and Jerry Sandusky

Save It for Later is a weekly roundup of items I find around the Web that I find worth sharing.  I use the term  "weekly" lightly, as I have not been exactly consistent it getting this posted.  In an attempt to turn over a new blogging leaf, I am back at it and on Father's Day.

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 spent 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
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
 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.

read to be read at

photo credit: naphiu via photo pin cc photo credit: marsmet551 via photo pin cc


  1. This is all so valuable. As a parent of sexually abused children, I know how important and TRUE all of this is. There is a woman campaigning to educate kids not about stranger danger but how to protect themselves from the more imminent danger of friends/family/trusted loved ones...her name is Erin Merryn. Do check her out.

    One of the saddest and hardest things for me is that people don't believe the 1 in 6 statistic unless they've been there. I am so appreciative of your giving this time and attention and heightening awareness.

    1. Thanks for the added resource. I will definitely check out Erin Merryn. I cannot express my sorrow for you having to go through this with your own children and my gratitude for you speaking out.

  2. I hate the term "stranger danger" because so rarely is it a stranger that kids need to be protected from.

    I am not a fan of any of the Hallmark holidays ie. Mother's Day, Valentine's Day etc. and so it is not a day of anything other than thanks to dad and homemade gifts from school.

    1. Thanks, you are right that stranger danger is secondary to teaching kids about the dangers of people they know. It's tricky, because we don't want a generation of children who live in fear. But if we teach them to protect themselves, things like understanding "red light" and "green light" areas on their bodies--places ok and not ok to be touched, they have a chance to say, or yell, no.

  3. This is a great and important post.

    I have been following the Jerry Sandusky trial as well and I am glad that his status quo does not matter, I'm glad nothing is swept under the rug here and I am glad the people he hurt had the courage to come forward and testify.

    I also 100% agree with you that the money spent for "greeting-card-holidays" could be much better spent on important causes - my kids made their own Father's Day cards and my husband loved it.

    1. I, too, am glad the Sandusky situation has not been swept under the rug. Being an Ohio State fan and knowing of the sanctions given by the NCAA for players getting tattoos, I wonder when the NCAA are going to come forward on this one.

  4. Woooweee gal, love you hitting hard on touchy subjects. The best way to deal with consumerism is to make it and grow it at home. And how I dealt with Father's Day with my bio dad - I adopted not one by three amazing men as my dads. They are awesome and I text, call, email and tell them in person that they are too.

    1. Oh Angela, your presence here means the world to me. And I should have included you in the list of resources. I'm adding it now:
      Yours is one that helps people to move towards a joyful life. Incredible. Thank you.

  5. Thanks for sharing this. It's not a pretty thought, but so, so much more important than another fluff piece about how awesome fathers are. Sometimes, unfortunately, they're awful and they do awful things.

    I know I turn away from coverage of things like the Jerry Sandusky trial because I feel so helpless. Thanks for sharing some useful resources so I can go somewhere and do something positive.

    1. You may be helpless to the victims of Jerry Sandusky, but your voice can help others. Just by commenting here, you are doing so. Thank you.

  6. These are all great suggestions for donations. And I agree, if we could marshal the massive amount of money spent on holidays like these we could really make an impact. Thanks for raising your eloquent voice once again to spread awareness. Well done!

  7. I am so, so sorry that happened to you and cannot imagine the mix of emotions you must go through each father's day. You are courageous to talk about this. I know it would be easier to be silent, but silence helps no one. Thank you for speaking the truth.

  8. You are such a strong and beautiful advocate, and you are doing good work here. You really, truly are.
    Much love and hugs to you.


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