Over the past two years Iowa organizations have received more than $417,000 of the penalty money Penn State University paid the NCAA after one of its assistant football coaches was found guilty of child sex abuse.
“Essentially how these funds are being used is to support organizations that are involved in either preventing or treating child sex abuse,” says Steve Scott, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse Iowa. “The other recipients are child protection centers here in Iowa that are all involved in identifying whether or not abuse has occurred.”
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is using its latest $27,000 from this fund to spread the message that child abuse and neglect leads to long-term physical problems in adulthood.
“Child abuse and neglect and other traumas in childhood have a long-lasting effect in a broad range of areas going all the way from COPD, to heart problems, to diabetes, to risky health behaviors like a greater likelihood of using illegal drugs or having substance abuse issues,” Scott says.
Prevent Child Abuse Iowa will use part of the grant money to launch community projects in Black Hawk, Johnson, Lee and Wapello Counties to raise awareness of child abuse. There will be two more years of grants from Penn State’s penalty payments in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse in mid-2012 and sentenced to 60 years in prison.