Another alleged victim took the stand today in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial in Pennsylvania. And five days ago, a video surfaced showing Anthony Sanchez, a California water agency official, striking his stepson during a game of catch in his backyard. For parents, these stories send a dagger of fear through our hearts and force us re-assess the methods we’re using to keep our kids safe. For me, it begs another question: Where the f*ck are the wives?
Let’s start with Sandusky. He traveled with the kids who were entrusted to his care, showered with them, and even hosted many of these boys in his home. In his home. If what he’s been charged with has any truth to it, then I have no doubt the sexual abuse he engaged in took place under his roof as well as on the road.
And if the accusations are true, I have no doubt his wife Dottie Sandusky knew something was up. Maybe she didn’t know exactly what was going on or see it for herself. But you can’t be married to someone for decades, have a day-to-day and/or sexual relationship with that person, and not know that your partner is engaging in behaviors that may be harming others. There are clues. There are always clues.
What could those signs have been? Perhaps she noticed that Sundusky was disinterested in sex or was more aroused during positions where she was submissive. Out of the bedroom, she had to have noticed that he was spending too much time alone with young boys. She had to have even felt reluctance entering the basement, where he was often alone with them. Not surprisingly, I just read today on ABCnews.com that one victim called out to Dottie Sandusky for help from that basement. He got no response.
In my opinion, if he’s found guilty then she’s also committed a crime and should be charged accordingly.
Next up we have Anthony Sanchez, the assh*le who beat his stepson during a game of catch. Watching the video made me sick to my stomach, perhaps because I know all too well what can happen when your mother or father brings a new monster, I mean partner, into the home. Again, I have to ask: where the hell is the wife?
Although I imagine it’s difficult to blend a family, I can’t understand how parents can bring new people into their children’s lives without any set of rules or ideas about how their children should be treated. How can a mother or father (yes, dads are guilty of this, too, trust me) watch another person strike or mistreat her/his child and think that this behavior is acceptable? My guess, watching the video, is that the little boy isn’t the only one on the receiving end of Sanchez’s blows.
And in my opinion – which you can take or leave – she should either leave the home or be charged along with her husband.
Unless you’re a complete idiot, I shouldn't have to tell you that children of divorce go through hell. Even in the most amicable of situations, the transition from one household to two can be rough. So for all of you moms and dads out there who add even more damage and duress by bringing nasty people into your kids’ lives, I’ve got news for you: you suck.
That’s my rant for the day. Maybe for the week, since it was such a big one. Yes, I think Dottie Sandusky was aware of her husband’s inappropriate relationships with those boys. And I think Sanchez’s wife allowed him to abuse her son. What we will do about these sad situations, if anything, remains to be seen.
If you want to learn more about keeping your kids safe, check out this article on Families in the Loop by Chicago social worker, Michelle Siegman.