What if Pablo Escobar had hosted a symposium on Drug Trade Gangland Violence Prevention?
No matter what well-respected, hard-working experts he invited, the symposium wouldn’t have stopped the continued promulgation of violence in the Columbian Drug Cartel.
Sounds similar, don’t you think?
At least they are doing something, I hear many of you say. But that’s the problem: Right now, that ALL they are doing.
The Boy Scouts and Penn State did not voluntarily go to the cops and say, “We have a problem.” The Scouts were sued by hundreds of victims who were aching after decades of abuse and cover-up. Penn State was exposed because of the bravery of Jerry Sandusky’s victims, who bucked the Happy Valley “code of silence” and came forward to protect other kids.
But instead of enacting REAL institutional change that installs any measure of acountability, both groups are working to brand themselves as “leaders” in prevention. But don’t be fooled.
Victims don’t come forward so that large organizations that cover up sex abuse will be encouraged to hold “symposiums” on child sex abuse prevention. They come forward so that wrong doers are punished and children are protected.
Until the leadership of the Boy Scouts and Penn State are held publicly accountable and until effective institutional change is implemented and enforced, public relations events like symposiums will only give the false illusion of child safety.
The only way that change will occur is if victims continue to use the civil and criminal courts to seek justice and if the public demands significant change with their voice and their checkbooks. Finally, the hard-working and tireless child protection advocacy groups and speakers attending both events should demand evidence of accountability and institutional change before any further partnership agreements with either the Scouts or Penn State.