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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • Moments of strength, courage

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    The typical 12-year-old, at least from my experience, usually worries about things like making sure their clothes match and how they are ever going to get all of their homework done in time to watch their favorite show on TV.


    While Jacob Gould might think about these things, one could not call him typical.

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  •   The typical 12-year-old, at least from my experience, usually worries about things like making sure their clothes match and how they are ever going to get all of their homework done in time to watch their favorite show on TV. While Jacob Gould might think about these things, one could not call him typical. The things this young man has had to deal with in his life are painful to say the least and would lead many to just say “I?don’t want to talk about it.” Not Jacob. In fact his story of abuse at the hand of another youth in the neighborhood where he lived when staying with his dad has become very public. That public tale has led to a law being passed in Minnesota that does what it can to ensure those who suffer the same kind of issues Jacob dealt with have the support they need when they need it the most. After Jacob had been sexually abused by another older boy, his mother, Sarah, who is his custodial parent, was never informed. It seems as if others who were informed just wanted to slip it under the rug. Well, slipping it under the rug only exacerbated the issue with a much younger Jacob who I am certain faced all kinds of mental anguish the likes few of us could ever imagine. Those issues led to him try and take his own life. Thankfully, his family was able to step in and get him the help. While Jacob is never going to be the same because of the abuse he endured, he and his family can take some form of solace in knowing no other child is going to have to face the kind of turmoil he had to because of this new law that requires both parents to be informed when abuse or neglect takes place. I?have known Jacob’s mom for several years and knowing her personality I knew when she took the bull by the horns with this issue there was no way it was going to come to an end without the conclusion she wanted. I applaud the efforts of Sarah in getting this law, known as Jacob’s Law passed, and I applaud the legislative leaders like Sen. Gary Dahms and Rep. Bruce Vogel who helped to craft the bill and made sure it got the attention it deserved. I sent an e-mail with a couple of questions for Jacob hoping to have them in the story that ran Monday, but the connection was not made until after that paper went to print. However, I got his responses and wanted to print them now. Why is the law important? Jacob: Because it will help kids like me get help sooner.  What would you like to say to the people who helped make this idea a law? Jacob: Thank you, and it means a lot to me that people care about me as much as they do. Congratulations to everyone who did their part to make this law a reality. Now it is time to make it law across the nation.
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