Just days after the jury handed down a guilty verdict on 45 of the 48 charges against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, a former ESPN anchor has been emboldened to speak for the first time about sexual abuse that she suffered in her youth.
In a post to her personal blog, Jacobson writes, "I was molested as a child." She goes on to write about the abuse she suffered from a babysitter and expressed solidarity with the victims of Sandusky and all sexual predators.
Like the young men who bravely took the stand in the Sandusky trial, I was molested as a child. That's still not easy for me to say, let alone write and share publicly, but if we've learned anything from the Sandusky scandal it's that the time for silence is over. As I heard one Sandusky victim put it, it's time to "find my voice."
Even as jurors began deliberating in the trial of Sandusky, there were more young men coming forward to allege sexual abuse by the former Penn State assistant football coach. Not only did an adopted son of Sandusky's release a statement through a lawyer recounting abuse, but Travis Weaver told NBC of abuse he claims took place several years ago.
Applauding Weaver for going public with his NBC interview, Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), released a statement saying that "We hope his courage will inspire others who are suffering because of child sex crimes."
Jacobson references Weaver's choice to speak out several times as she addresses the facts and ramifications of the abuse she suffered. She also expresses her anger that Sandusky was free to commit crimes despite their being several chances for him to be stopped sooner.
Maybe that's why I'm so sickened and angry by what unfolded in the Sandusky case. People knew. One mother spoke out. Mike McQueary was an eye witness. At the very least, we know alleged abuse was reported within the Penn State football administration and Athletic Department. Still it continued.
After a decade of work with ESPN, Jacobson left the sports media monolith in April after her contract expired. Prior to writing about her abuse, Jacobson had written six posts on her blog since leaving ESPN on topics ranging from gardening to the suicide of NFL icon Junior Seau.