Filmmaker Tyler Perry has come out and publicly expressed his support for an alleged victim in the Penn State child sex abuse case, calling him a hero for coming forward with his story.
Tyler who came forward last year and publicly revealed his own story of being molested as a child, made his comments via an open letter which was published this week by the magazine Newsweek.
The letter is addressed to a boy who was 11 when he reported the alleged sexual abuse by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Police arrested Sandusky November 5th and charged him with molesting eight underage boys over 15 years. Jerry Sandusky still claims he is innocent despite the volume of evidence against him.
“Do you know that at the young age of 11 you had more courage than all the adults who let you down?” Perry wrote. “All of the ones who didn’t go to the proper authorities, all of the ones who were worried about their careers, reputations, or livelihoods.”
Two top level administrators were charged in this case as well for allegedly lying to a grand jury and failing to report a 2002 sex abuse allegation against Sandusky to police. The scandal also cost football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier their jobs for not coming forward in protecting these young boys from the abuse.
Tyler Perry admits he did not have the courage himself to come forward when he was 11 years old. When he finally did come forward later on in life and tell a family member about the abuse they do not believe him.
“I suffered in silence,” he wrote. “But not you, my young strong hero, you have done what many of us wish we could have done. You used your voice!”
Perry later added: “No matter what happens next, just know that the hardest part is over.”
I applaud those who came out and reported the abuse and I applaud Mr. Perry as well for sharing his story. I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse myself and I know how difficult it is to talk to anyone about it. They have made the necessary first step to recovery by revealing what happened and I just hope they are able to put this horrible incident behind them and live a somewhat normal life.