By The Post-Standard Editorial Board
The child sex-abuse scandals at Penn State, Syracuse University, in the Catholic Church and elsewhere suggest the sexual exploitation of children is a sign of these troubled times. But the appalling violation of childhood innocence has a long history — though finally it is being discussed openly.
The allegations against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky go back 15 years. The accusers of Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine allege incidents dating back a quarter-century. Some cases against Catholic priests extend to the 1940s and ’50s.
Statistics suggest one in four girls and one in six boys face abuse by the time they reach 18. Onondaga County saw more than 5,000 hotline calls in 2010, representing more than 9,000 potential child abuse cases. (To report possible abuse, call 800-342-3720. You cannot get in trouble for making the call, authorities say; but if you don’t call, abuse could continue.)
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