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Penn State Scandal Reminds Witnesses to Report Sex Abuse

Advocates for children victims have made strong calls to strengthen sexual abuse and sexual assault reporting laws. While there are mandatory reporting law for certain individuals, many higher education universities have internal law enforcement officers who report to administrative officials, rather than local district attorney's offices.

Former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse against children. In the wake of this scandal, an internal review has been initiated to determine whether individuals at Penn State failed to follow through on their obligation to report the sex abuse to law enforcement authorities, not just administrative authorities at the school.

Many critics, however, believe that it's too little, too late. Critics of the reporting are pushing for a new law that would require all higher education administrators and sex abuse witnesses to report the incident to the police.

If you've witnessed or learned of sexual abuse or sexual assault, it's highly recommended that you report the incident to local law enforcement officers. The law enforcement agency can then investigate the alleged abuse and pursue charges against the perpetrator if necessary. That way you can avoid criminal liability for failure to report a crime.

Source: Charlotte Observer "Suspect child sex abuse? Call the police- always," 11/21/2011

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