GALLOWAY, NJ - Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of convicted child sex abuser Jerry Sandusky, will discuss the traumatic experiences that led him to take on the role of advocate for survivors at two events at Stockton University, one free and open to the public and one designed for legal and medical professionals, teachers, counselors and social workers.
On Thursday, March 2, the community is invited to hear Sandusky speak at 5:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Theatre on the Galloway campus, 101 Vera King Farris Drive.
The Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University was one of the most highly publicized such cases in history. The former assistant football coach was convicted of 45 charges of child sex abuse in 2012 and sentenced to 30-60 years in prison.
During the trial, Matthew Sandusky disclosed that from ages 10-16, his adoptive father sexually abused him. His interview with police was leaked to the media and he and his family were placed in the center of a media and community firestorm.
He sees his role as giving survivors a voice to raise awareness to an epidemic that still remains mostly silent. He hopes that by telling his story he is able to show survivors that hope always exists and that healing will happen. By speaking publicly he hopes to bring more awareness to the fact that males are sexually abused and that help is needed.
Founder of Peaceful Hearts Foundation, along with his wife Kim, Sandusky helps promote stronger statute of limitation laws, education for children and adults, a survivor fund to help alleviate costs of treatment for children who have been sexually abuse, stronger mandated reporter laws, and other legislation as the need arises. Peaceful Hearts works to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse find the support and love they need and deserve.
In the documentary, “Happy Valley,” he discusses his life with the Sandusky family, his abuse at the hands of his adoptive father, and the way a community treated him and his family in the wake of his disclosure.
He did a one-on-one interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he talked about attempting suicide at 16; he also was featured in a second documentary, “Invisible Scars.”
Sandusky, 38, recently released a memoir titled, “Undaunted: Breaking my silence to overcome the trauma of child sexual abuse.” He discusses the physical, mental and sexual abuse he suffered as a child and the lessons he has learned in healing from the trauma caused by the abuse.
The memoir is also an educational tool for the reader on the issue of child sexual abuse. He uses his life’s story to motivate people to take action to prevent child sexual abuse (CSA) and to positively engage and support adult survivors of CSA.
“We have been broken, but with love and support, we will rebuild and become stronger than we ever could have imagined,” he said.
Sandusky attended Penn State University, studying Business. He is married to his second wife, Kim, and is the proud father of five children.
On Friday, March 3, Sandusky will speak to professionals at a Conference on the Victimization of Children from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Event Room. His keynote address is designed for attendees such as child abuse counselors and prevention services professionals, child protective services professionals, forensic interview specialists, human trafficking/sexual exploitation counselors, law enforcement officers, medical professionals, mental health/treatment officers, prosecution /legal professionals, social workers, teachers and victim advocates.
This $75, one-day conference will bring together professionals, researchers, policy makers, parents, and volunteers from a wide variety of disciplines to discuss the victimization of children. The conference will focus on child sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect, bullying, and human trafficking.
Presenters at the conference will provide current information on the nature and extent of the child abuse, intervention, prevention and support related to working with children and families affected by abuse and neglect. At the conference, participants will have a better understanding of the various forms of child abuse, improved recognition of the symptoms of abused children, successful intervention, treatment plans for abused children, and increased knowledge and strategies to prevent child abuse.
Stockton co-sponsors include: Victimology and Victim Services Minor, Criminal Justice Department, Childhood Studies Minor, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor, and the Stockton University Child Welfare Education Institute.
Stockton University is an approved provider of continuing education credits for Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Licensed Professional Counselor.
For more information and to register for the conference and Continuing Education credits, visit stockton.edu/continuingstudies and choose Conference on Victimization of Children.