Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse trial has captured the country's attention. Now, some victims of sexual abuse from our area are paying close attention to the testimony. They believe the trial could have a silver lining.
Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse trial has allowed the world to hear exactly what his ten alleged victims accuse him of. However, only certain people can really put themselves in the shoes of those ten alleged victims when they testify, such as one teenager from our area whom we identify as "Vale". He is a victim of sexual abuse.
Vale told Newswatch 16 his story, which he said has gotten easier to tell over time.
"At first, it's really nerve-wracking to tell people, because it's a really big secret and you keep it for a while. But, the more that you talk about it and the more relaxed you feel, especially if it's someone who you trust," said Vale.
He said it will get easier for Sandusky's alleged victims, too, but the healing process will be painful.
Vale had his breakthrough in Wayne County, at the farm for Marley's Mission.
Marley's Mission is a therapy organization that uses animals to help abuse victims heal. The program helps about 100 children. Therapists there said many of those children came to Marley's Mission after Jerry Sandusky's arrest last fall.
They expect even more, now that Sandusky's accusers are telling their stories in court.
"When something like this happens, such a public case, you see survivors who have been struggling in silence come forward, and say 'if they can do it, maybe I can go through this process too.' Not so much for the legal aspects but so that they can begin healing," said Ann Cook, Marley's Mission therapist.
You can find more information on Marley's Mission here: http://www.marleysmission.com/