Talking to your kids about sexual abuse

Mechanicsburg's Carrie Perry is a lifelong Penn State football fan. Her step daughter graduated from the university two years ago.

“I've just had Penn State in my family for many, many years,” Perry said.

She is disgusted by the scandal, but is using it to bring up a tough topic with her teenage daughter.

“My 13-year-old daughter is acutely aware of the issue,” Perry said.  “It's on the news.”

Talking about child predators is not easy, but something Perry thinks needs to be done.

“I think the biggest issue is letting our children know that they have to tell,” Perry said.  “And that they need to be able to find somebody they can tell. This can be a very good learning experience if we grasp it that way.”

“This maybe an excellent time to sort of start a conversation to what is appropriate and what's not appropriate,” said Jonathan Gransee.

Gransee is a psychologist in Lancaster. He said if anything good comes out of the child sex allegations against Jerry Sandusky, it's the conversation many families are now having.

“Its important to have open communication about the subject with your child because if this is occurring with your child they can talk to you about it,” Gransee said.

It seems simple, but “speaking out” is something many believe Penn State administrators and coaches morally, and legally, did not do well.

“There's no adult, no matter what their level is, who should ever keep information like this quiet, keep it from people,” Perry said. “It doesn't matter. These are children.”

For more information about how to talk to your children about sexual abuse, visit

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