In order to raise awareness, ensure prevention and enlighten the public, Penn State will host a conference centered on the topic of sexual abuse this fall.
The Child Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention, and Intervention will take place at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on Oct. 29-30, according to a press release .
Organized by the Penn State Justice Center for Research and Penn State Outreach, the conference will feature various speakers including Sugar Ray Leonard, an Olympic gold medalist and professional boxer and Elizabeth Smart, ABC news correspondent, both of whom were sexually abused as children.
Experts in the field of child sexual abuse and child trauma who will speak include Dr. David Finkelhor, Dr. Penelope Trickett and Lucy Berliner.
According to the conference website, the goals of the conference are to raise awareness, educate, energize and empower all of us to move forward to better protect children.
The conference will host discussions of topics including evidence-based methods of treatment and prevention, characteristics of pedophiles, a better understanding of the traumatic impact of abuse on children of all ages and the legal issues involved in a child abuse investigation.
Other events that will take place include book signings with Leonard and Smart, exhibit booths for spectators to browse and remarks from Penn State President Rodney Erickson.
“What happened at Penn State could -- and does -- happen in other communities across the country, and we hope that this conference will be a catalyst for furthering the knowledge that can lead to a safer environment for children in our nation and around the world,” Erickson said, according to the release.
After former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing 10 young boys, and two Penn State officials were charged for failing to report the abuse which they were allegedly made aware of, Penn State pledged to become a leader in sexual abuse research, treatment and prevention.
Penn State also implemented new rules for bringing children on campus after the allegations were made.
Sandusky was found guilty of molesting all 10 boys, and the two former administrators, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz, are still awaiting their trial.