The February release of Senator Scott Brown's autobiography and his appearance on 60 Minutes drew considerable attention to his role as a child abuse victim - emotional abuse by some of the men in his mother's life and sexual abuse at the hands of a pedophile Christian camp counselor. Boston lawyer Mitchell Garabedian has credited the Senator's abuse disclosure with starting the ball rolling on the Camp Good News scandal that continues to unfold. Garabedian has told the media that he believes Brown's revelation gave other alleged victims of abuse at CGN the courage to contact his office for help.
Much has been written here as well as other places about Brown's abuse story. Any account of his book includes mention of his summer camp victimization and virtually every Camp Good News story includes Brown's name somewhere in the article. Whether Senator Brown likes it or not, his name is inextricably linked with Camp Good News and the sexual abuse of innocent children. We're sure he never thought this would happen when he added to his book the account of his abuse at a Christian camp on Cape Cod.
Will Senator Brown be called as a witness in any of the civil or criminal matters likely to move forward regarding Camp Good News? While he may not want to name his attacker, his testimony might help Garabedian and criminal prosecutors establish a long term pattern of behavior at the camp. When the day comes that he's subpoenaed to appear in one of these cases, we hope Senator Brown will surprise us all by embracing a truly splendid opportunity to do a lot of good.
Rather than fleeing from the CGN story, we urge Senator Brown to become a role model and spokesman for sexually abused children everywhere.
Do you remember the "It Gets Better" media campaign to help gay/lesbian youth who were bullied by their peers? Last fall there seemed to be a virtual epidemic of young people taking their own lives over anti-gay bullying. There evolved a series of media spots by the It Gets Better project. At the same time Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns recorded a truly moving statement at a public meeting last year relating his own experiences.
Wouldn't it be powerful if Senator Brown turned his considerable charisma to the victims of pedophiles?
There is no sin lower than the sexual abuse of a child. Scott Brown stands in a place right now where he can make a huge difference for victims like him.
A Scott Brown Foundation for Child Abuse Victims
We propose that Senator Brown establish the Scott Brown Foundation for Child Abuse Victims and turn his considerable fund-raising prowess to funding that new organization. The Scott Brown Foundation could provide indispensable funding to organizations like the local Children's Cove right in Hyannis. The Brown Foundation could also provide funding for a media campaign similar to that of the It Gets Better Project. It could fund the development of a D.A.R.E.-like curriculum for elementary schools to give our children the tools to step up and report abuse.
Imagine a nation-wide media campaign featuring Senator Brown- the abused child who grew up to be a powerful Senator that smote his abuser, nuked an alleged pedophiles' playground and put abuse prevention on the national agenda. For a young child abuse victim, this would be the equivalent of a super hero swooping in to the rescue.
As we said above, we're sure Senator Brown never expected the laser focus on his victimization when he included his abuse at summer camp in his autobiography. That genie is out of the bottle now. Rather than try to flee from that genie, we encourage Brown to embrace it.
Senator Brown has the ability to raise millions of dollars in a short time. If he were to take even a month to focus on a Scott Brown Foundation we're sure he could raise $5 million or more. Who wouldn't get behind such a project, regardless of their political affiliation?
Every six minutes an American child is sexually abused. Scott Brown has an historic opportunity to protect generations of innocent children from predators like the one who molested him. Protecting those children will be a far greater legacy than even the greatest Senator could accomplish in a lifetime.