Former Boston Bruins forward Sheldon Kennedy testified before the U.S. Congress today during a hearing held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The hearing is the first for the committee since the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State broke. Kennedy did not mention the Sandusky case by name.
Kennedy is the co-founder of an advocate organization for sex abuse victims called Respect Group. The organization has an launched an online program:
to educate adult youth leaders on abuse, bullying and harassment prevention (Via Yahoo! Sports)
Kennedy was abused by his former junior hockey coach Graham James. After serving 3 1/2 years in prison, James was pardoned. Just last week, James was back in court in Canada and pleaded guilty to sexual assaults of two former players.
Kennedy told Congress
Punishing the bad guys makes us feel good, but it does not fully solve the problem," Sheldon Kennedy said in prepared remarks at a Senate hearing.
Kennedy is urging for training because
"In every case of child abuse-certainly in my own-there are people who had a `gut feeling' that something was wrong but didn't do anything about it," Kennedy said. "Their attitude was `I don't want to get involved,' `it's not my problem,' `he couldn't possibly be doing that' or `the authorities will take care of it."' He said that pedophiles and predators count on that ignorance or indifference.