By Dr. Drew Pinsky
I am disgusted by the allegations that have come to light in the Penn State sex scandal.
The alleged abuse of children by an adult authority figure is such an egregious transgression it’s hard to believe that witnesses and others with knowledge apparently did nothing, or very little to stop it.
So what should you do if you are aware – or even suspect – that young people are being victimized and violated?
-As someone with knowledge, you are obligated to get help.
-Seek help from to a professional. Definitely notify your supervisor, but also contact your human resources department or employee assistance program immediately. Contact a social services agency or other agency. Many professionals have mandatory reporting obligations. That means they must notify authorities. And don’t hesitate to notify authorities directly and immediately.
-Don’t go alone. Always get support.
-Don’t worry about intervening. See authority as an asset. This is not about ratting out someone, or punishing them. This is about protecting children and being helpful. This about doing what’s right and deploying resources that help.
Children are so vulnerable. The worst thing people in positions of authority can do is intentionally harm them. The next worst thing is allowing the abuse to continue.
Hear more from Dr. Drew weeknights at 9 p.m. ET on HLN and follow the show on Twitter @DrDrewHLN.