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Entries in Sheldon Kennedy (1)

Tuesday
Dec132011

Hockey Star Urges Congress to Fight Child Sex Abuse

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- It is a scandal that has tainted the greatest American sports. From Penn State football to Syracuse basketball, high-profile sexual abuse cases have brought child abuse to the forefront of the national consciousness.

Now the Senate is looking for ways federally mandated programs can prevent these abuses that often persist unreported for years.

On Tuesday, Canadian hockey star Sheldon Kennedy, who was sexually abused by his junior league coach for five years, urged the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families to confront this “nightmare” by instituting training programs for coaches, teachers and mentors who work with children.

“Too often, society’s response to child abuse is to focus on punishing the criminal,” Kennedy said in his written testimony. “Punishing the bad guys makes us feel good, but it does not fully solve the problem.”

Kennedy’s testimony comes the same day that former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is accused sexually abusing 10 boys over a 15-year period, waived his right a preliminary hearing to determine if there was enough evidence for a trial.

In spite of the recent uptick in high-profile child sex abuse cases, a study released by the Department of Health and Human Services shows that reported cases of abuse have actually decreased over the last five years. The report estimates that 130,000 fewer children were victimized in 2010 than in 2006.

About 9.2 percent of the 695,000 child abuses cases reported in 2010 were from sexual abuse. Slightly more than 78 percent of the victims suffered neglect and almost 18 percent endured physical abuse, according to the report.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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