Child Advocates Respond to Matt Sandusky Interview

By Mallory Lane

Published 07/18 2014 05:30PM

Updated 07/18 2014 06:15PM

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - Matt Sandusky breaks his silence on national television, revealing the details of his alleged abuse by his adoptive father, Jerry Sandusky.

The interview aired on Oprah Prime Thursday night.

Friday, local child advocates are reacting to Sandusky's story.

"We have a young man talking about what is a horror story," CEO of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau, Andrea Boyles, said. "For me, it's good news that he's talking about it and good news that we're listening."

Boyles said watching the interview is difficult, even though she hears stories like it every day.

She's glad Matt Sandusky is telling his story.

"I think the more we hear it and the more we talk about it, the more able we are to hear it from a child who needs us," Boyles said.

It was just a few months ago, Dottie Sandusky spoke out on national television, defending her husband. She also questioned the victims honesty about their tales of abuse.

At the time, Boyles worried victims would be discouraged from coming forward with their stories out of fear for backlash.

She applauds Matt Sandusky for taking a stand.

"I think that many of the things he said are almost reassuring to a child who is a victim or a young adult who has been a victim," Boyles said. "Hearing what it felt like for him,, hearing him say 'he picked me and in the beginning, that was a good thing, and I needed to be loved,' those will help people come forward, help people tell because they realize they're not alone."

Boyles said it's important to continue talking about child sexual abuse and encourages more people to take part in the Stewards of Children training in Centre County to learn more about the signs of abuse.

So far, about 4,000 adults in Centre County have completed the training.

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