Sandusky case brings local sex abuse victims forward

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - In Pennsylvania, the Jerry Sandusky case is now in the hands of the jury.

While in Alabama, there's a renewed effort to fight child sex abuse.

Reports of sex abuse cases in Montgomery have skyrocketed.

According to the directors at Child Protect, they're investigating 80 more cases of sex abuse than this time last year.

While the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case continues to unfold, one thing is clear to Child Protect Director Jannah Bailey.

"We see the numbers go up because maybe they start questioning things that maybe they've ignored in the past."

Bailey attributes the 80 additional local cases to the national exposure child sex abuse is receiving from the Sandusky case.

She believes it gives others the courage to come forward.

"32 more the week that it came out. And that is normal for a national case."

Bailey says often times young children are the first to get help--perhaps because the fear of embarrassment isn't as strong.

"A 10-year old will come and say my grandfather did this to me and some other older cousins at that point will come out and say he did that to me," adds Bailey.

And even though the cases in Montgomery are hundreds of miles from Penn State University and State College, Pennsylvania, Bailey sees distinct similarities between Sandusky's alleged victims and those closer to home.

"Most of the time the offender is telling them this is a secret, you don't need to tell anyone about it, or they're threatening them. If you tell, I'm gonna get in trouble. If you tell I'm gonna kill you," says Bailey.

She says the increase in cases has put a strain on Child Protect's resources.

But she's thankful the national exposure has prompted people to speak out about sex abuse.

She asks anyone who has been the victim of child abuse to please come forward by contacting the police.

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