While many are still reeling from the sanctions handed down to the Penn State football program by the NCAA, questions still remain about how so many people who allegedly knew about the abuse could remain silent when evil was being perpetrated and not stand up for innocent children who were being abused.
Lighthouse Network reminds that despite pressures and potential retaliation, the best course of action in any situation is to do what’s morally right by speaking up, especially if immediate danger still exists. In the case of the Penn State abuse situation, reporting abuse immediately when witnessed directly to the police and continuing to speak up if the perpetrator continued may have saved countless victims from the shame that sexual abuse inflicts.
Lighthouse Network operates a behavioral health referral helpline that can help callers by referring them to a local counselor, both to discuss potential courses of action and to deal with the ramifications of witnessing lewd, shameful acts.
Comments From Lighthouse Network Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Karl Benzio
“Power, prestige, and wealth can be terrible guideposts for reason when unexpected and hideous actions interrupt the championship party. One could only imagine the distorted values and inner deceit necessary to inhibit decisive action from a group of people who prided themselves on winning the right way,” said Karl Benzio, M.D., Founder and Executive Director of Lighthouse Network, the premier Christian addiction and mental health referral service. “This shows the diabolical power of how these acts traumatize onlookers. So many individuals knew the perpetrator and allowed him to be at large while more children were at risk daily. The guilt of keeping such evil acts a secret for so long just for the sake of a sports program seems unfathomable. Only evil or a traumatized person would do it.”
“The Lighthouse Network helpline exists not only for addiction, but for anyone struggling with a mental health issue. In the case of the Penn State situation, witnesses to abuse who were or are mentally tortured by what they saw can speak to our helpline to get advice or referrals to a local counselor that can help,” said Benzio. “With proper support and guidance, it’s possible that someone may have stood up much sooner and unnumbered victims could have been spared. And for those that struggle with not reporting abuse, counselors can help with resulting guilt as well.”