Events will raise awareness of child abuse, honor victims

This week, our community has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse of children and failure by officials to report it to authorities in a scandal that has left many thousands of people feeling sad, hurt, angry and confused. Many in the community have come together to organize events that will show support for victims of child abuse. We’ve listed a few of them below:

Prayer Vigil for Abused Children

Until 2 p.m. today (Friday), on the Old Main Lawn, people are encouraged to come together  “to extend love & healing into the hearts, minds & spirits of ALL victims of physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse throughout ALL space and time, everywhere.” Organizers say that “every human being who who has a heart that can feel is invited to take part,” no matter what their religious affiliation may be.

Candle Light Vigil for Abused Victims

From 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. tonight (Friday), on the Old Main Lawn, people will gather with candles in hand to honor victims of child abuse. The vigil will include a moment of silence, remarks from members of the community, and music from local groups.

According to the Facebook event: “In light of everything that has happened, the people that need our support the most are being overshadowed. These are the victims- the ones who were abused- the ones who were hurt the most.

“So let us now, come together as the family we are and show our unconditional support and sympathy for these victims.

“For we are all Penn State! Penn State has always been among the most caring universities in the world. So let’s keep it that way!”

Organizers ask that everyone bring their own candle “and your Penn State pride!”

Those who wish to speak are encouraged to contact jns5136@psu.edu or tweet at @PSUHope.

Prior to the vigil, starting at 6:30, people will be at the HUB making and handing out hundreds of blue ribbons to give out, and they will also create “a paper chain of support.”

Currently, more than 8,000 people have RSVPed to the vigil via Facebook.

Penn State: Make a Difference

Today (Friday) until 2 p.m. in front of the HUB, people will raise money for Childhelp, a nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent child abuse and help victims of it. The group will also get together from 9:45 to noon Saturday (first at the HUB again, and then at Beaver Stadium) to continue to raise money.

Solidarity Walk

From 10 a.m. to noon, prior to the football game against Nebraska on Saturday, people (more than 350, according to the Facebook page) will walk to from the Lion Shrine to Beaver Stadium, singing fight songs and Penn State chants, in order to show their solidarity with survivors of child abuse as well as with the entire Penn State community.

Blue Out PSU vs. Nebraska

People who are attending Saturday’s Penn State football game against Nebraska are encouraged to “blue out” the game, in order to raise awareness of child abuse, by wearing blue. McLanahan’s, 414 E. College Ave., in State College, is selling special blue T-shirts that say “Stop Child Abuse. Blue out Nebraska.” The shirts cost $9.99 and proceeds go to Prevent Child Abuse PA.

Let us know in the comments if you are planning to attend any of these events (or others you have heard about) or show your support for the fight against child abuse in some other way, and why it’s important to you.

-Erin

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