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Penn State Offers Free Counseling to Alleged Sandusky Victims

by on March 21, 2012 6:10 PM

Penn State will now provide confidential counseling services for anyone who may have been abused by Jerry Sandusky.

In a statement released Wednesday, Penn State President Rodney Erickson and board Chairwoman Karen Peetz announced the university is working with Praesidium Inc., a "national leader in abuse risk management with more than two decades of experience and more than 4,000 clients."

The release said counseling will remain "completely confidential." Identities of those who use the services will not be released to Penn State, and counselors will not be Penn State employees.

The Wednesday announcement comes after Peetz said in January that Penn State would offer such services for free to the individuals who may have been abused. Those youths, some of whom are now men, are "one of (the university's) top priorities," she said at the time.

According to the release, Penn State is in the process of alerting the individuals to the free services.

"We at Penn State are committed to helping victims of child abuse in every way we can," Erickson said in the statement. "This is an important step in our effort to do so. We hope those in need will use these services."

The university website lists contact information for Praesidium in addition to the organization's mission, which is "to protect those in the care of organizations from abuse and to preserve trust in that organization."

Affected individuals currently undergoing counseling, those in need of counseling, and their family members or friends, may call Praesidium at 1-888-961-9273 or email referral@praesidiuminc.com to learn more about the services.

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Laura Nichols is a StateCollege.com news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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