The Penn State campus has been rocked with a child sex abuse scandal, and just Wednesday night, head football coach Joe Paterno was fired for his connection to the scandal, just four games shy of completing his 46th season as coach. In light of what has gone on recently in State College, Pennsylvania, one Oak Creek man is speaking out, saying he lived child sex abuse and wants to shine a light on this dark subject.
Rick Sluss says in this case, his focus is not on football, Penn State University, or Paterno - it's on the kids that are now known as alleged victims. Sluss says he identifies with those who are coming forward as victims, because he says he became a victim of child sex abuse when he was 10 years old and says, five decades later, he's still a victim.
"I faced it, day in and day out. Him coming to get me at school, and take me out, and go to his home, and to hurt me, repeatedly. I didn't know how to go about getting the help, because I couldn't say "would you help me please?' I didn't know how to reach out," Sluss said.
Todd Witt works at Milwaukee's Walker's Point Youth and Family Center, which provides a variety of social services for victims of sexual abuse. Witt and Sluss agree that children and adults who are involved in or aware of sexual abuse need to speak up.
"I would tell, and then if that person didn't do anything about it, or didn't believe that person, I would tell again, and I would tell again, and again, until somebody finally did something about it," Witt said.
Witt says the situation at Penn State should serve as a wake-up call for folks who are unaware of just how common child sexual abuse can be. Those who are in any kind of abusive situation have several resources available to them. A good number to start with is 414-220-SAFE, which is the number for the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.