Abuse and Mandated Reporting

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Abuse & Mandated Reporting The case of Jerry Sandusky brought to the public eye the issue of child abuse and various authority figures’ responsibilities of reporting such suspected abuse. Back in 2011, Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky, 68, was accused and convicted on 45 out of 48 counts related to sexually abusing young boys over the course of two decades; he was sentenced to life in prison (Wertheim 2012). Not only were Sandusky’s actions illegal (among other less appropriate adjectives that I might add) but also illegal were the actions, or lack thereof, of Gary Shultz, the Penn State senior vice president for finance and business, and Tim Curley, the Penn State athletic director. They knew details and has witnessed some of the allegations against Sandusky yet failed to report to the proper authorities; thus they were charged with perjury, as required by state law (Viera, 2012). Most people do not realize that failure to report child abuse is just as bad, and sometimes even worse than child abuse itself. After this case, mandated reporters of physical and sexual child abuse will be held more accountable for filing reports. Child abuse comes in several forms. There’s the obvious physical abuse and neglect, and the less noticeable sexual, mental, and emotional abuse. Child abuse is more prevalent than we would like to think, so the role of a mandated reporter is crucial in stopping as many instaces of child abuse as possible. A mandated reporter is required, by law, to report suspected abuse or neglect (Wilson 2013). Thus, you report when you have a suspicion; you do not need proof (Wilson 2013). You must report when you have reasonable cause to believe that a child or adolescent has been abused or neglected or is in danger of being abused (Wilson 2013). Mandated reporters include many people in professions such as the following: child care worker,

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