Let The Healing Begin
For over twenty-five years, I sat “behind the bench,” observing my husband in his role as both a junior and senior high coach. The past eight months I have at times been “glued” to the TV as I watched the Sandusky tragedy play out. I realize coaching at Penn State is a whole different level than our rural Kansas community. Yet, from my stand point the ethics and morals should be the same on any given playing field.
Last week during Sandusky’s trial, I listened in horror as former Penn State coaches tried to justify showering with athletes. Their flippant attitudes revealed to me why we as a nation are witnessing the down fall of a dynasty. As I have thought through those testimonies the reality of those statements infuriated me.
You see I have not only been a coach’s wife, but an athlete’s mother. More than once, I have walked into a coach’s office and asked for explanations as to why Coach “So and So” felt compelled to call my son a vulgar name in front of team mates. On occasion I have questioned their conduct on the field because of the use of profanity. Remember I am a coach’s wife and I understand being in the “heat” of a game. And quite honestly, the cussing conversation is one I have had with my husband as well. So, I know that not everyone agrees with me. Yet, we are talking about adults who are helping shape the “adults” of our future.
Not for a minute am I comparing verbal abuse with sexual abuse. I am however, talking about adults who should recognize and be caution with their actions when working with our children and youth. So, when these former Penn State coaches admitted to showering with boys, I about flipped out! I don’t believe for a moment this is normal locker room protocol. And if it is, NOW. IS. THE. TIME. FOR. IT.TO. STOP!
This series is titled Broken Bits. Mosaic Miracles. Although I did not intend on writing a post about sexual abuse during the series, I recognize many lives have been broken by this type of abuse.
Statics tell me “the Sandusky’s 8” are just a small percentage of the young men and women who were sexually abused as a child. I realize during this 21st century, not only has the sex industry as a whole but pornography in general gained acceptance in our Nation. Through the acceptance we are seeing sexual abuse and sex trafficking rise at an alarming rate.
So, what happens to the victims? What about the women and children who are daily being forced into sexual labor as well as those rescued from it? What do we as a society and perhaps more importantly as the “church” do about it?
I believe each of us in our own little corner of the world need to:
- Establish an environment where lives are more important than institutions/money. That means some of you are going to have to speak up and out!
- Keep leaders accountable. Forget the “chain of command” especially if the “chain” is broken. An example would be, if you know of a coach showering with an athlete. Confront and report! Even if you have to go above your immediate boss.
- As a parent, teach your children to be “protectors not predators!”
- Don’t be like the monkey who “see’s no evil or hears no evil.” No longer can we stick our heads in the sand. If and when you see and hear, take the steps to protect those being victimized.
- Promote an atmosphere of healing. Shame and guilt can paralyze the victims, let’s help victims recognize and walk through those emotions, so restoration can begin.
- As a Nation start addressing the demand side of pornography. Quit saying there is no correlation. Recognize this giant for what it is and start pushing for laws that protect all of us from this rampant acceptance of filth.
I have to believe some good has already come from the Sandusky holocaust.
- Victims are finally getting a voice!
- Child abuse and cover ups are being extensively recognized as wrong and many people are “not going to take it anymore.” Whoot. Whoot!!
- Our Nation has taken a good hard look at the emphasis placed on football programs and institutions. The fall out is just beginning and might I say It. Is. About. Time!
While it may be far fetched, my dream is that every victim, not only the “Sandusky 8” but all who have abuse in their past, will come to a place of complete healing. The broken pieces caused by abuse can be healed! Lives can be restored! Let’s help the healing begin!!