HARRISBURG, Pa., April 11 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania child-abuse awareness group said having the family of Joe Paterno speak at an event shined a spotlight on an issue many people prefer to ignore.
Angela Liddle of the Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance said three members of the late Penn State coach's family provided a voice "far stronger than mine."
Paterno's long tenure at Penn State was tarnished in his final years by the arrest and conviction of longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on charges he molested boys for several years under Paterno's nose.
Jay Paterno, the coach's son, along with brother Scott and mother Sue Paterno appeared at a meeting of Liddle's group in Harrisburg Wednesday and told the audience there needed to be a greater awareness among the public that crimes such as Sandusky's could be going on under their noses as well, The (State College) Centre Daily Times said.
"It is easier not to think about it. It is easier not to talk about it," Jay Paterno said in his remarks. "It is hard to recognize but tougher to talk about, but the best weapon we have is open discussion to cast light into the darkest places of our society."
Liddle said her group was not interested in continuing the debate about coach Paterno's role in the Sandusky scandal but rather to inspire the public to take more responsibility in reporting suspicious activities involving adults and kids. She told the newspaper laws alone would not prevent future such incidents.