Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
This moment in history, it seems, is when mankind will be forced to grapple with a child sexual abuse problem that is far worse than many of us imagined.
Since former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested in early November and charged with molesting at least eight boys over a 15-year period, we have seen a constant stream of stories about sexual horrors perpetrated on children.
Many of the stories have centered on boys and athletics--in Syracuse University basketball, Canadian hockey, AAU basketball, and even sports journalism. But the problem hardly is limited to those who prey on boys through sports. Here in Alabama, former teacher and church leader Daniel M. Acker Jr. has admitted to molesting 21 girls since the early 1990s
What has all of this taught us? For one, it's not just an American problem; it is international in scope. For another, the problem is hard to grasp because many victims are unwilling or unable to speak out. Some victims fear they will not be believed. Others fear they will bring shame to themselves or their families. For some, the psychological trauma is so severe that they struggle to function, haunted by depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship problems, and thoughts of suicide. For others, memories of the abuse are repressed, causing statutes of limitations to pass before law-enforcement officials can even try to take action.
One victim with ties to Alabama has found his voice--and he is using the Web to share his story. Jason Lee, a 36-year-old former Birmingham-area resident, was molested repeatedly over a five-year period. Charles Donald Corley (photo above), a respected leader in Boy Scouts and at Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood, was convicted in 1995 of molesting Lee and two other boys.