JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As became clear in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case at Penn State, pedophiles can wield enormous influence over their victims – and their communities. That power often means the abuse is followed by years of silence.
But child abuse expert Stacy Pendarvis says time – and even justice — can help restore the balance of power.
Pendarvis is the program manager at the Monique Burr Foundation, a Jacksonville nonprofit that works to end all types of child victimization. She says that while the allegations in the Pak’s Karate case may seem staggering, but they fit a familiar pattern – multiple victims, hundreds of incidents, over a period of many years.
“You think of priests pastors and teachers — they use that position of power to totally manipulate their victims. That just tends to be the norm with pedophiles.”
Perhaps the most confounding part of the pattern: silence.
“More often than not, they do not disclose as children. And that sad reality allows offenders to continue to offend year after year after year, and take on new victims.”