Penn State will donate Big Ten bowl revenue to sexual abuse prevention programs

Penn State has pledged $1.5 million to work with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center on programs to prevent and treat sexual abuse throughout the country.

The money will come from the university’s share of Big Ten bowl revenues.

“Our own experience shows that child sexual abuse greatly impacts individuals and entire communities,” Penn State President Rod Erickson said in a news release. “It is now our responsibility to assist in raising awareness and in helping fight this insidious and often secret crime. We hope that our partnership will help break the silence that surrounds child sexual abuse and lead to better protection of our children.”

The news release said the intent of the partnership is to “extend the collective reach” of PCAR’s and the Resource Center’s programs aimed at preventing and treating sexual abuse and violence in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

Penn State Vice President for Outreach Craig Weidemann will lead the team that will work with PCAR and the Resource Center to establish a formal plan and budget.

Areas that Erickson said the partnership might focus on include:

professional education and development for Penn State employees.

curriculum content and certificate programs

educational outreach initiatives

promotion of public awareness about child sexual abuse

help developing research priorities on child sexual abuse and sexual violence

public policy development

internships and educational opportunities.

More than 30,000 adults and children in Pennsylvania receive sexual assault services each year in Pennsylvania. The state Department of Public Welfare said there were more than 4,800 reports of suspected abuse the week following Sandusky’s Nov. 5 charge compared with 2,300 reports during an average week.

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