Child Sex Abuse At Penn State: What Should Witnesses Have Done?

By: Stephanie Shoop/News Director
By: Stephanie Shoop/News Director

What would you do if you saw someone sexually abusing a child?

What is your responsibility if you see the actual act of someone sexually abusing a child?

The Penn State child sex abuse case is raising that question and more.

Here's a report from the Associated Press: "Then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary went to Paterno and reported seeing a naked Sandusky in the Penn State showers, sodomizing a boy of about 10."

Reports also indicate a janitor said he saw "a boy about 11 to 13 pinned against a wall while Sandusky performed oral sex on him."

McQueary is now Penn State's receivers coach and will be coaching at Saturday's game, according to information released today. Jerry Sandusky, who was once associated with the football team, is accused and has been charged with molesting eight boys in 15 years.

My question: If you witness the sexual abuse of a child, why do you not rush to physically stop it or immediately get help to make it stop? That would be my reaction. It apparently was not McQueary's or the janitor's.

Is that right or wrong? Could you even argue that someone who does not try to stop the abuse of a child be criminally charged? Or do you believe you have no responsibility to make it stop? Also, if you report a crime to a work or school supervisor and it appears the crime is not addressed, do you have a responsibility to go to the police?

We'd like to hear your thoughts.  

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