State College is not the first town to be rocked by revelations of sexual abuse, and sadly, it likely won’t be the last.
But an event at 7 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 29, at the State Theatre aims to better inform people about child sexual abuse, and give them a forum in which to discuss this topic that is so often shrouded in secrecy.
The Centre County Women’s Resource Center and the State Theatre have joined forces to bring a documentary called “In a Town This Size” to the theater. The award-winning film presents the experiences of people, including the director himself, Patrick V. Brown, who grew up in a small Oklahoma town, where they allege a local pediatrician sexually abused them.
In an article in the Centre Daily Times’ Weekender, Women’s Resource Center Director of counseling and advocacy services Mary Faulkner said “We saw important parallels with the events featued in ‘In a Town This Size’ and Jerry Sandusky’s indictment here in Centre County.”
Though people often think of child molestation as a big-city problem, something that couldn’t happen in their tight-knit community, Brown’s film shows that the conservative culture of small towns and the silence that surrounds child sexual abuse makes it shockingly easy for abusers to keep their actions under the radar.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Brown, as well as Matt Bodenschatz, a Penn State student who says he was sexually abused as a child; Julie Price, a certified child life specialist; Pamela McCloskey, a licensed psychologist; and Marolyn Morford, a clinical and developmental psychologist. The panel discussion will be moderated by Kristen Houser, of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.
Tickets will cost $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. The film is unrated, and parental discretion is advised. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Centre County Women’s Resource Center. Click here for the State Theatre’s official event listing.