One Year Post-Sandusky Arrest: Rape Hotlines Buzzing


Laws Should Mandate Reporting Sex Crimes

He said institutions should be trained to identify and speak up when abuse is suspected. Laws must mandate reporting such crimes.

"And you have to do more than report it," he said. "You keep telling someone until someone listens. It takes a collective effort to stop child abuse."

As for Shipe, she said her memories came flooding back when she first learned about Sandusky's arrest in December 2011.

"I remember sitting in my house watching Sports Center, the Saturday morning ritual of a Penn State fan," she said. "I cannot even describe the range of emotions. When I saw him, I got physically ill."

"To me, Penn State was a safe house," she said. "The ironic thing is I met Sandusky at a banquet and he spoke about Second Mile. I remember thinking how altruistic he was."

Second Mile was the charity Sandusky founded where he groomed many of his child victims. Some of Shipe's friends had interned there.

Shipe said many survivors of sexual assault blame themselves or think no one will believe them.

"There was a pack mentality," she said of her own rape. "It would have been my word against theirs. No one would have believed me -- they would say, 'She's a slut, she asked for it. She was at a party, she should have known what she was getting into.'"

Shipe said she never told her family to "protect them" from scandal.

So she got an idea, the first step toward reclaiming her life. Shipe created a charity event, RAINN 'Em In, The First Ever Human-Powered Horse Raise: a derby party for adults riding inflatable horses.

She has already raised $6,000 for survivors.

"How far have I come?" asked Shipe. "It's taken over my life. In the last year, social media channels have quieted down and found other topics, but for survivors like me, the fight is on."

She still has bad days where her memories of rape haunt her, but Shipe said she has found a cause and a network of support that have given her "better days."

"So many people confide in me -- people I work with who have close friends who are victims of child sex abuse, people who have been raped or close to being raped," said Shipe. "I tell them, 'You are my voice.'"

To learn more or get help, go to RAINN's National Sexual Assault Online Hotline.

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