While the internet is currently full of posts and opinions about the Freeh Report, Penn State, and Sandusky himself – some blogs, articles and op-eds have stood out to me more than others.
The following is a snippet from a blog on the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (you can find the full post here):
“What I’ve come to is that we have a pervasive cultural and institutional problem that’s racking us. It should not take tragedy, crisis, or gross negligence to draw attention to harmful issues within our institutions, organizations, or communities. What do choices like the ones made at Penn State and countless other organizations say about the way we value children? Consistently, our cultures blames, bashes, criticizes, and silences people exposed to violence and abuse.”
I think this most closely mirrors my own thoughts these days – we seem to be in systems (institutions, organizations, etc) that serves to alienate and silence survivors and victims – but also works to silence bystanders and others that can do something – that can make change happen – that can stop the violence.
See, the thing is – any system is made up of individual parts.
A community is made up of individual people.
Institutions do what its people do.
Choices are not made by systems – but by people within systems.
What choices are you making? what choices am I making? how do I contribute to or challenge the system?