Penn State panel urges openness about sex abuse

Survivors say open discussion is necessary to combat problem

Published On: Oct 28 2012 10:17:57 PM CDT
Jerry Sandusky
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -

Survivors of child sexual abuse say the problem cannot be combated unless people are willing to discuss it openly.

At a panel discussion Sunday night at Penn State University, two-time Olympic swimmer Margaret Hoelzer, state Rep. Louise Williams Bishop (D., Phila.), and Christopher Anderson, executive director of MaleSurvivor, shared personal stories of being abused as children before an audience of about 150 people.

Williams Bishop said the sex abuse scandal involving former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was just a conversation starter because sexual abuse has been going on for years.

Said Anderson, "There are Sanduskys in almost every community in the United States. There are survivors in every community in the United States."

The panel discussion was the opening session of a three-day conference on child sexual abuse.