Jerry Sandusky sexually abused 10 boys over a 15 year period. What did the majority of those boys have in common? They were fatherless! Sandusky's charity, "Second Mile" describes itself as an organization for underprivileged and at-risk children.
No one is more "at-risk" when it comes to a sexual predator than fatherless boys. Being raised in a single parent home doubles a child's risk of being sexually abused and Sandusky was brilliant when it came to knowing which children to target and how to target them.
The first few years after my divorce my ex was somewhat involved in our son's lives. He took advantage of seeing them every 14 days but that was it. Within 4 years of the divorce he had removed himself altogether from their lives.
I was hyper-vigilant about taking care of my sons. Neither was interested in sports activities but I remember wishing they were. In my mind such activities would give them the opportunity to build relationships with men who would have a positive influence.
I've shuddered more than once and been very thankful that they were more cerebral than physical since the news broke of the problems at Penn State with Jerry Sandusky.
This story is proof that what I thought would be a safe haven for my children can hide evil that will steal a child's innocence. It adds a new fear to the already fearful and stressful lives of mothers who are raising fatherless boys.
What can we as a society do to keep predatory pedophiles from harming our children? Men can open their hearts and invite a fatherless boy to be part of their life. Don't leave single mothers alone to worry about who will be a positive, male role model for her children.
- Take a fatherless boy fishing,
- Teach a fatherless boy how to play golf,
- Help a fatherless boy with a school project,
- Take a fatherless boy to a football or baseball game,
By reaching out, you can show a fatherless boy that he is not alone, that he belongs to a community that cares. You can teach him, through example, how to respect himself and others. You can fill a void that will one day keep him from turning to drugs, alcohol or destructive behaviors.
You can make all the difference in the world by simply paying a little attention to a boy who needs what you have to give, a positive male influence.