The Pennsylvania State University announced today that $1.5 million of its proceeds from its share of this year’s Big Ten bowl revenue will be donated to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The money will help fund research “in preventing and treating sexual abuse and violence throughout the state and nation.”
The announcement comes five days after the Nittany Lions suffered a 45-7 defeat to Wisconsin in their final game of the season. Wisconsin will represent the Leaders Division in the inaugural Big 10 Championship Game, but Penn State still technically earned a share of the Leaders Division title with a 6-2 conference record.
“As a University and as people within a caring community we believe it is essential to take a deeper look at the core issue of child sexual abuse and to openly acknowledge the scope of the problem,” said Rodney Erickson, president of the university. “Our own experience shows that child sexual abuse greatly impacts individuals and entire communities. It is now our responsibility to assist in raising awareness and in helping fight this insidious and often secret crime. We hope that our partnership will help break the silence that surrounds child sexual abuse and lead to better protection of our children.”
“We believe PCAR’s goals closely parallel the University’s goals in education, research and outreach, and in the broader area of public policy development,” Erickson said. “We can and will do more to stop and prevent abuse.”
“I am pleased that Penn State wants to establish a partnership with PCAR to utilize our knowledge, experience and resources,” said Delilah Rumburg, CEO of PCAR and the NSVRC. “It shows strength to take a tragic situation and turn it into an opportunity to grow and learn.”
“No one can undo the trauma experienced by sexual assault victims, but we can improve policies and protocol to increase safety for people of all ages and help people channel their anger and outrage into positive action and involvement,” she added, “to transform the ‘norms’ for everyone regarding how they respond to suspicions and allegations of sexual assault.”
One must wonder how all those who suggested Penn State be banned from playing in a bowl game this season feel now.