For the last week one of my assignments has been monitoring the progression of the Jerry Sandusky trial and analyzing media coverage surrounding the issue of child sexual abuse. Sandusky is accused of molesting 10 boys over the course of 15 years, boys he met through his charity The Second Mile. Reading about the trial made me consider how something so horrific could occur and how it relates to the importance of women in our society.
In covering the trial, majority of the media outlets focus solely on the legal aspects – the motions attorneys make, the statute of limitations, etc. States are beginning to pass legislature about requirements for reporting suspected child sexual abuse. What the media fails to mention is what can be done to prevent child sexual abuse. It fails to place the focus on families and communities. It fails to place the focus on women and show how investing in women can help stop child abuse and lift up communities in general.
It’s a known fact that women tend to spend greater portions of their income on their children than men. Spending on children means better education, better nutrition, better everything. If that is the case, then how is it that a woman still only makes 77 cents on every dollar a man does? How can Congress take measures to maintain this status quo by voting down the Paycheck Fairness Act? And if the government is not willing to do anything about it, what can I do?
Reading about the trial at my job and discussing women’s economic status and investment into women’s causes with the group made me think about the intricacies and interconnectedness of these issues and what can be done to ameliorate them all. So far, I truly believe that empowering women is the first step to changing the world.