It's no surprise to people whose job it is to investigate allegations of sexual abuse toward children that more alleged victims are speaking up in the Penn State scandal.
"Kids are very reluctant sometimes to talk about abuse that has happened to them," said Summit County Children's Service Intake Investigator Krista Szalay. "there are a lot of feeling that go into that. They may feel guilty. They may feel they brought it on somehow."
Szalay and Investigator Annette Lucarelli both say that there's a careful balance that must be met to take claims seriously and protect children who may be in danger, but also to gather all relevant information without making the children feel that they're believed. Often, it involves a parent or other family member and that can lead to emotions taking precedence.
"Studies have shown that children heal in a much more effective manner if they are believed, at the get-go, by the non-offending parent," said Lucarelli.
Lucarelli says the Penn State case involved boys who were vulnerable, making it especially difficult for them since the at-risk program they were part of gave them an emotional attachment that may have been lacking elsewhere.
In Summit County, any claims or questions about child abuse, sexual or otherwise, may be reported anonymously to SCCS 24-hour hotline: 330.434.KIDS