Teresa Huizar, NCA Executive Director, for Huffington Post:
However, it would be false to think that that this tragic epidemic of disbelief is solely triggered in rare cases that involve powerful celebrity predators or abuse that happened long ago. Not so. Virtually every multi-victim case—whether involving coaches, teachers, daycare providers, pediatricians, pastors, priests, scout leaders, or youth mentors—has involved precisely the same dynamic: a manipulative perpetrator expert at discrediting their victims, and supervisors, institutions, neighbors, and communities that did not believe the first victim. So there is a second…and a third…and sometimes tens or hundreds of victims before the predator is finally stopped.
Much has been made (and rightly so) of the complicity of institutions and their leaders in allowing abuse to continue unchecked possibly for decades. Yet, what about our own complicity, individually and societally, when we ignore the first disclosure of abuse, emboldening predators and thereby creating a tidal wave of sorrow in all the victims that will come after? How many kids could be spared pain if we all spoke up each and every time a victim comes forward?