Indiana University

News Release

Friday, December 9, 2011

Last modified: Friday, December 9, 2011

IU professor: 'Parents should talk to their kids about sexual assault'

  1. Print this page

Dec. 9, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With former Penn State University defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky facing charges of sexually assaulting 10 boys, it is natural for parents to want to talk to their kids about sexual abuse.

"Parents should talk to their kids about sexual assault and use this crisis as an example," said Maria Schmidt, assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies, in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

She says it is important to help kids understand there are "bad" people in the world, but they are small in number and most people are "good." Noting that using crisis situations to start the conversation about sexual abuse can instill fear in young children, Schmidt encourages parents to talk early and often with their children about boundaries and expectations.

She offered the following suggestions:

Schmidt can be reached at 812-855-9892 or

More experts

Indiana University faculty members can speak to various aspects of this issue. They include:

For additional assistance, contact Tracy James at 812-855-0084 or; Mary Hardin at or 317-274-5456; or Rich Schneider at 317-278-4564 or

Web Version

IU News Room
530 E. Kirkwood Ave., Suite 201
Bloomington, IN 47408-4003