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Pennsylvanians Should Rejoice That Settlement Keeps Fine In State

While many Penn Staters around the world celebrate the restoration of Joe Paterno’s 111 wins on Friday, all of Pennsylvania should be rejoicing that resources for victims of sexual abuse in the state are about to improve greatly.

With the NCAA’s announcement on Friday comes the news that the $60 million fine Penn State is paying as a result of the original NCAA sanctions will stay in Pennsylvania. The university will receive $12 million of the fine to help improve its child sexual abuse prevention programs and the remaining $48 million will be given to the Commonwealth to help with state programs.

Penn State will set up an endowment with the funds that will be “a long-term investment in expanding our research, education and public service programs to help eradicate child sexual abuse.”

Vice President of Communications at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Kristen Houser said she hasn’t heard any plans of exactly where the money will go once it’s given to the Commonwealth, but she hopes PCAR’s rape crisis centers will be eligible for funding.

“PCAR’s position has been that if it’s Pennsylvania money it should stay in Pennsylvania,” she said. “I think we’re pleased to see that these resources will be here.”

Though it isn’t determined yet where the money will specifically go, Houser said there are many different organizations around the Commonwealth that provide different types of support for child victims of abuse. Many of the organizations focus on prevention and education.

“This really is a community issue. This is something we need all adults on board with,” she said.

This isn’t just a great day for Penn State football, it’s also a great day for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Sexual assault and sexual assault reporting is the core issue behind the Jerry Sandusky case and the sanctions. Though the sanctions angered many, the resources that Pennsylvania will gain as a result of the fine is a small light at the end of the tunnel.

Hopefully, these resources will be a large step in helping prevent what happened at Penn State from ever happening anywhere again.

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About the Author

Mindy Szkaradnik

Mindy is a senior majoring in Print Journalism, Spanish, and Global and International Studies. She is the 12th member of her family to attend Penn State, she loves Bruce Springsteen, and her friends are always making fun of her for talking too much about study abroad. She can be reached on Twitter (@mszkarad) or via email ([email protected]).

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