Truth Shines from Penn State Pain
- Tuesday, December 13, 2011
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the latest installment of Solo Zone, a monthly article series focusing on believers who have taken advantage of serious opportunities God has laid in their faith walks—and whose singleness actually works to their benefit, as well as God’s glory.
Although they’ve yet to be proven in a court of law, the infamous allegations against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky are explosive.
They’re damaging not only to Sandusky’s personal career, but also to the legacy of Joe Paterno and one of the most storied college sports programs in history.
Yet many of us forgot in those early days of this sordid story not only the victims prosecutors claim Sandusky abused for years, but other victims of child abuse who’ve been enduring their own private torture, quietly, and outside the media’s glare.
One of those victims is J.C. Derrick, a 28-year-old journalism student currently interning in Washington, D.C. When news of the charges against Sandusky broke in November, Derrick struggled with suppressing his secret grief over what happened to him when he was eight, twenty years ago.
Finally, however, he could stand it no longer, and out from his journalistic persona flowed a poignant editorial on the topic that ran in the prestigious Washington Post and, since then, over a dozen other newspapers across the country.
His account proved so compelling that hundreds of readers e-mailed him, many with their own harrowing stories of child abuse, some of them being told by victims for the very first time. Even in Washington, D.C., a couple of recent acquaintances admitted to him privately that they were also victims of child abuse.
From Victim to Victims’ Advocate
The depth of pain and breadth of victimization stunned Derrick. “You like to think this is rare and never happens,” he explains. “But the statistics say otherwise, and that's what we have to recognize.”
Like many victims, Derrick’s abuser was a family member. “It was a series of incidents that took place when I was 8 and 9. Although they were traumatic, what allegedly happened to those boys by Sandusky is much worse. I was not threatened with harm, but even though it's been 20 years, I remember fear being a big issue. I wanted to say something but didn't. I wanted it to stop, but I didn't know. I felt trapped.”
Recently on Singles
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content