What can we learn from Penn State?

6:26 AM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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A crying Penn State Nittany Lion window painting marks a store front in State College. (Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- The report was scathing. 

In his 267 page report, former FBI director Louis Freeh detailed how Penn State University leaders, including famed former football coach Joe Paterno, failed for 14 years to protect any of the children victimized by Sandusky.

RELATED | Key findings from Penn State report
MORE | Read the entire Penn State report

In the end, Penn State stands as a shining example of what not to do when a child is being sexually abused.

Amber McKeen, a child abuse prevention trainer with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, hopes the Sandusky case will inspire other victims to come forward.

"So many victims, unfortunately, feel shame and blame that what happened is their fault and that they'll be ostracized and victimized even further," she said.

"Hopefully, with more people talking about it and coming forward and believing the victims, it will help people be able to heal," she said.

She said there are three main lessons:

1.) Prevention. The best choice, of course, is to stop abuse from ever happening at all. McKeen said all groups who work or volunteer with kids must be properly trained. 

2.) If you suspect abuse, call DFACS and police. Do not stop at reporting to your internal supervisor.

3.) Once you've made the report, follow up. If nothing has happened, keep calling and tell other people.

More resources and information: 

Fulton County DFACS: 404-699-4399

DeKalb County DFACS: 404-370-5251

GA Child Protective Services:  404-651-9361

National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD

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