Penn State report sends message to other institutions

BOULDER – The child abuse scandal involving former Penn State Football Coach Jerry Sandusky has shaken that campus to the core, but it is also sending shock waves to institutions around the country.

Nia Wassink is a director with Blue Sky Bridge, an organization in Boulder that assists the victims of child abuse. Since its founding in 1995, Blue Sky Bridge has assisted more than 10,000 victims of child abuse.

Louis Freeh, former FBI Director, was hired by Penn State to investigate the university’s handling of the Sandusky case. That report points a finger directly at the senior leadership of the university for failing to act.

“Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims by the most senior leadership at Penn State,” Freeh said.

Wassink believes the scathing report of the Penn State University’s handling of the Sandusky case will result in changes throughout the country

“The fact that child abuse remains a significant issue in our country needs to change. The fact that this institution could hide it for so many years needs to change,” Wassink said. “That not one person did what they needed to do to help these kids needs to change. This cannot happen again.”

Her hope is that the failures of the Penn State leadership will serve as a catalyst for change in the way child abuse is dealt with by other institutions.

“It is that people will be educated; that agencies will recognize that opting out is not an option; that everybody has a responsibility to be educated on child abuse, to know how to report it, to know when to report it and to help these child victims going forward,” Wassink said.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)