Sandusky. Syracuse coach. Jason Murphy. Suddenly these reports have brought “More Awareness to Child Molestation.” And soon we’ll see “copycat” charges (eg. the Syracuse coach). And then will follow the inevitable backlash against those who claim they were molested in their youth but weren’t – which will paint us all in the same broad brush of either denial or doubt, raising our shame, and perhaps closing our mouths.
Sure as age follows youth, snot follows a cold, they will be there: people hoping to make a name for themselves – either ‘pro’ or ‘con’ – and people getting sick and disgusted with the thing – not child abuse in general (they are already becoming ‘more and more aware’ of that every day) – just sick of hearing about it. Happens every time. Remember O.J. Remember Michael Tyson.
And then the fervor will die down . . . and the issue will ‘go away’. Remember those old court cases? The Michael Jackson “trial”? The Congressman accused of having sex a page? Or any other of those hundreds if not thousands of cases that have come and gone – set people on fire until the embers die down and then it’s the size of Jay Lo’s butt, or who is who in Hollywood, or what Congress has done – that kind of stuff.
But the repercussions will go on. Not just for the men charged in these scandals (I won’t go so far as to say they are guilty; indeed, Sandusky has yet to be tried) – but for the victims and survivors on all sides of the equation. The children yet to come.
Not just that but the victims and survivors of false charges. Those will live on as well. As stated in one news article: “Carello believes Fine is done at Syracuse. “I know he’s not guilty, but he’s already presumed guilty,” Carello said. “He’s on leave. He will never coach again. Anyone accused of being a molester at a university, you’re not going to coach anymore. All because of one person coming forth and lying.”
To me it is almost as sad as reading about a victim of child abuse: to read how another man’s life might be destroyed . . . simply because someone wants a thrill. That’s a form of abuse itself.
Look. I’m a survivor of sexual child abuse. I know how tough it is out there – male survivors of sexual child abuse have little to no resources. It isn’t the same thing as with women. The effect may range the same – but there are other things. Like social pressures to “be a man”, “buck up”, “man up”, “take it like a man”. (And I’ve heard the last one there USED in an abusive situation before). A good man doesn’t cry; a good man is strong; a good man can take it on the chin and keep on going . . .
That kinda stuff, and that’s just touching the very tip of the iceberg.
But the fact is: false charges are going to come forth as some folks, sick in their own need (or just obviously greedy . . . or needy in some way) – “come forth” and throw their hats into the ring – whether for public exposure, or to help themselves to some of the limelight here . . .
And that, my friends, is going to lead to that inevitable backlash we’ve been talking about – when the public is ‘done’. I’m kinda cringing on that, knowing the inevitable effects on the victims – all of them. But my heart goes out to the suffering ones, the ones who have a lifetime to live; the ones who still are young. They are the most likely to be truthful (in my opinion, as long as no one is coaching them or telling them what to say). But they are the saddest ones of all . . .
The good thing about all of this is that it calls attention to child abuse. But what most people don’t realize: it isn’t an “epidemic” and it isn’t a “growing phenomena”. It’s just being reported more; more victims are willing to get up and speak, and society has been – and still is – “redefining” what child abuse – including sexual child abuse – MEANS.
In the old days – say a couple hundred years or more back in our ancestor’s days – every child had been abused – going by today’s society’s definition. Each and every one of them. There were a few exceptions to be sure – it was like today, only the situation reversed: most of the people back then had suffered some kind of abuse and all – it was the rare ones who hadn’t. They were the ten percent or so – not the other way around, the way it is today.
Heck, in Afghanistan ‘old men’ (thirties or so) are still wedding brides under ten years old. This kind of stuff has been going on for ages – through the ages – since Day One.
It’s just that society isn’t going to ‘put up with it’ anymore – and people’s perceptions are changing.
I think child abuse is an under reported thing, and I think male sexual child abuse is probably the most under reported at all.
That said, I’m also thinking it’s on the decline. It’s no longer acceptable in polite society for old men to be “diddling” younger boys. (That used to be the term back in the 1800’s, when it was much more common – and somewhat accepted, albeit accepted as somewhat odd – term for old men getting their thrills from boys.) And I think people are more willing to listen – but their basic behavior isn’t going to change. Not after “this thing” (the current ‘Sandusky Affair’) – nor another. The cycle will go on. Child abuse will eventually diminish as long as society continues on it’s present course in history (providing we don’t ‘wipe ourselves out’ – or start over at square one – then it’ll be history all over again – including what’s happened before).
I also think you’re gonna be seeing a “rise in statistics” though there will be no rise at all – it’s simply a rise in reporting.
Lets hope there aren’t some lies there.
But . . . like an old soldier who smells danger in the wind – I can ‘smell’ this one – the backlash a’coming – as new calls go in. Eventually the public mind will get tired of all this . . .
and then it won’t be ‘game over’ or ‘game end’.
It’ll just be the same game.
Played all over again.