Penn State sex scandal has midstate parents concerned - WSMV Channel 4

Penn State sex scandal has midstate parents concerned

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The Penn State child sex scandal that ultimately cost a legendary coach his job raised awareness of a crime that no one talked about.

Now everyone is talking about it.

A former ball boy at Syracuse has accused his coach of molesting him and in Nashville, the calls of concern are flooding in.

"If there's any good thing to come from this it's that people are talking about it, in particular men, who cant' help but take notice of this because it's in the sports world," said Lisa Dupree, a social worker with a Middle Tennessee sexual abuse treatment center called "Our Kids."

Dupree said the spike in calls haven't necessarily been from people reporting abuse,
rather from parents, in particular fathers, with questions about what to look for and how to talk to their kids.

"With Penn State and with Syracuse there are people who knew something was wrong and were either powerless, or didn't know how, or just didn't do anything and I think we have a lot of parents who are wanting to make sure they don't make the same mistake," said Dupree.

According to Dupree, the heightened awareness is a good thing, but this many phone calls also raises new concerns.

"I always worry when there are news stories that people begin to generalize, for example, 'all athletic programs there may be people in them that would hurt your children,' and the reality is that most places like that are very safe places for kids," said Dupree.

Dupree said most children are harmed by family members or by someone who has close family ties. 

If you suspect abuse you are required by law to report it. 

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