Since the football abuse scandal broke twelve months ago when Andy Woodward came forward, victims are still coming forward to report their abuse. The number of victims has now reached 748.
Andy Woodward was abused by convicted abuser Barry Bennell. It was reported that when the football abuse scandal first broke on average 5 new victims were coming forward every two days. Football Association (FA) Chairman, Greg Clarke has described the number of victims reporting abuse as a “tidal wave.” Six victims came forward in the first five days and the number rose to eleven by the end of the week. The latest police figures show that the number of victims is 748. One of the police forces has advertised for retired detectives to come forward and help in the process of taking statements from the victims.
331 clubs have been “impacted”; they have been named but not necessarily investigated. Of the victims, 96% are male, the youngest being four years old. The majority of cases happened in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, though some as far back as 1950 have also been reported. Operation Hydrant has had 2,028 referrals and all but 27 relate to football – the others involving basketball, rugby, gymnastics, martial arts, tennis, wrestling, golf, sailing, athletics, cricket and swimming. The number of victims will most likely be significantly higher as the figures have not been updated since 28 September 2017. There will most likely be many others who have not yet reported the abuse.
FA’s Independent Inquiry, led by Clive Sheldon QC, should be published by Easter. Sheldon has recently been reported as seeing a counsellor to look after his own mental health after being exposed to the harrowing stories from the victims, which is being paid by the FA. Many of the victims have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and still suffer from anxiety, depression, insomnia and panic attacks.
The FA is was working closely with police, adding ” we must ensure we do not do anything to interfere with or jeopardise the criminal process”. FA chairman Greg Clarke told BBC Sport that the crisis was “certainly the biggest he can remember, and that he was angry that people had sleep-walked through initial revelations in the 1990s.”
If you have been affected by anything in this article and would like to speak to one of our highly qualified abuse team members in confidence, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our highly skilled abuse team will advice you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are highly experienced in this area. They are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these types of sensitive cases. Please contact the abuse team on 0800 9555 094.