Roundup: Penn State offering free counseling to sex-abuse victims; more child-abuse prevention services in WI town; GA law eliminates “spousal privilege” in DV cases

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky (Associated Press photo)

The Associated Press reported that Penn State has contracted with Praesidium Inc., based in Arlington, TX, which is described as an abuse risk management company.

The services are confidential and will be provided by counselors from outside Penn State; the phone number and email address to reach Praesidium in connection with the Penn State case was activated Wednesday. It was not known how much the counseling service will eventually cost the university.

According to Praesidium’s site, the company’s mission is to:

create safe environments. Environments that protect the children, elderly, or vulnerable adults you serve from abuse. Environments that protect your employees, volunteers, and clergy from false allegations of abuse. And environments that protect your organization from loss of reputation and financial ruin.

Its case studies from schools, social service agencies, religious organizations, camps and child care are interesting reading. Its orientation is to help an organization to change its procedures to safeguard against child abuse.

This story quoted attorneys for Sandusky’s alleged victims as saying they had not been contacted about the services. A related Associated Press story says the FBI has done 200 interviews in its investigation into the case.

IN LA CROSSE, WI, two organizations have teamed up to expand their child-abuse prevention services, according to this short and incomplete post on The organizations won a $50,000 grant that will allow them to reach 20 more families with services.

“It could be figuring out how to get baby formula and car seats when you have no resources. Clothing, diapers and all of those things are stressors on families. The whole goal is to be there to support the family and alleviate those stresses and therefore alleviate child abuse and neglect,” said Family and Children’s Center President and CEO Mike Boehm.

The article did not say how many families need the services, but it did say that there were 3,000 reported cases of child abuse in La Crosse County every year, and that experts estimate there are “three times that number that aren’t reported”. I won’t assume that 20 families is a drop in the bucket; I’ll find out.

THE GEORGIA LEGISLATURE has passed and sent to the governor a bill that would require people who’ve been battered by their spouses to testify, according to this report by Kristina Torres on

House Bill 711 would eliminate a state law that allows a married victim to claim “spousal privilege” in avoiding a subpoena to testify in a criminal case.

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