REISTERSTOWN, Md. - She's a mother of two young girls, but Colby Simon had to shift her focus to herself. A phone call came just a year ago and soon she realized the older cousin who she says sexually assaulted her as a child had other victims.
"It does a lot of damage. You try and run from something, but you can't. It follows you wherever you go," said Colby Simon, who lives now in Reisterstown.
The 37 year old went back into therapy, a place she had been as a freshman in college. That’s the time when she realized that her secret was too heavy.
"So I literally thought I was taking one for the team, so to speak, by keeping it to myself. And I thought I can do this, I can live with this, I can hold it in, pretend everything is okay," said Simon.
But it wasn't. Simon developed an eating disorder, what her therapist described as a controlling habit and a common occurrence for victims of abuse. She has gone in and out of therapy for half of her life.
So the close friends and family who know sent text messages right when the Penn State penalties were announced.
"I take a lot of satisfaction knowing Paterno's reputation is permanently tarnished, as it should be. He, I believe, knowingly covered up abuse to protect his program," she said.
Right now, the case against her offender is not moving forward in Montgomery County, but other victims may turn to authorities. Crippling a football program is a stern message, but Simon believes nothing will change the impact of being abused as a child.
"There's no closure to this type of thing, unfortunately, just the day to day coping," Simon says.
Simon lives with the guilt of not speaking up and then learning of other victims.
Her way of coping is by creating some awareness around sexual abuse to get people talking, what she calls the only positive point of the Penn State scandal.
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