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We are the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. Please join us as we forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.

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Christa Andersen
202 467 8778

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Juan Tirado   
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Statement of National Center for Victims of Crime Executive Director Mai Fernandez re: Freeh Group Report on Penn State University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         
Anne Nicholas

July 12, 2012                                                                                        

It is clear from today’s Freeh Group report that the organizational culture at Penn State failed the very individuals our educational institutions are meant to protect: young people. By choosing not to report allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities, those in leadership chose to protect the storied football program at the expense of the community. They allowed the abuse to continue, and more youth to be victimized.

Very disturbing to us is that Penn State leaders showed an egregious lack of concern and willful disregard for Sandusky’s victims. Administrators who could have stopped the abuse chose instead to protect the abuser. By shirking their reporting and oversight responsibilities, they put the entire community at risk; they should be ashamed – and must be held accountable.

It is a sad time for Penn State. We are hopeful, however, that the report will lead to changes at this university and at all organizations, particularly those working with children. They need to adopt and support organizational frameworks that require reporting these crimes, making sure that they are investigated, and holding abusers accountable. The culture needs to change; we need to condemn abuse and foster responsibility, particularly when the safety of our children is at stake.


The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation’s leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation’s struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives.