While we are all rightly outraged by the sex-abuse scandal at Penn State, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. We would like to think this kind of behavior is removed from our own lives, but it isn't. Power-based violence is everywhere.
Whether it is child abuse, domestic violence, or sexual violence to any one at any age, it is up to all of us to step in and do something to stop it. Not that long ago, none of these things were spoken of.
Shelters for woman who were beaten or services for victims of sexual violence did not exist. We have all known of a woman beaten by her husband or boyfriend, or a child beaten by a parent.
We have all suspected a teacher or pastor or youth worker of preying on kids. Most of us were taught that it is none of our business and not to get involved. We were taught that only the bogeyman rapes, not the men we know. We want to believe that.
Sometimes we choose to believe that. Only within the last 30 years or so have we begun to talk about it openly and do something about it. Our culture still tolerates too much power-based violence -- for example, prostitution.
The average age for children to begin to be prostituted in Minnesota is 12. They are "groomed" exactly like the alleged abuser at Penn State is said to have "groomed" his victims.
The point is, don't point an accusing finger at Penn State. We are Penn State.
MARION SLOCUM, EDINA