IICSA Sexual Abuse in Sport
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published new research into child sexual abuse in sport.
The report has found that “coaches and instructors have exploited children’s vulnerabilities in order to groom and abuse them”.
The inquiry analyses a wide range of sports including, angling, boxing, canoeing, football, gymnastics, ice-skating and swimming.
It is based on accounts of victims and survivors who came forward through the IICSA Truth Project.
Victims and survivors have given evidence that they were involved in sports as a hobby, for enjoyment and some as a diversion from a difficult home life.
The sexually abusive behaviour they were subjected too was wide-ranging.
Grooming in the form of trips away and gifts was a common experience, together with privileges and rewards for children included in clubs and teams.
Perpetrators used this to try and normalise behaviours such as being overly physical, or making sexualised comments.
The report evidences how the abuse was able to take place by reference to overnight stays with children and a lack of supervision or oversight by the adults who were working in the sports.
Many of the victims felt unable to speak out at the time because of feeling that they had no one to confide in as well as the feelings of guilt and the lack of “open conversation about sexual abuse in sport”.
If they did open up and disclose what was happening to them, they were often “ignored, disbelieved or blamed themselves.”
Paul Stewart, former professional footballer for Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and England, said:
“Whist the physical and sexual abuse I experienced as a child in a sports setting was horrendous, for me it was the impact it had in later life.”
“It stripped me of everything – the ability to love and trust, and it also left me constantly thinking of a way out.”
“It’s important that survivors have the opportunity to come forward if they wish to do so, and the Truth Project provides that place to share an experience, free from judgement.”
“I hope this report can help to contribute to a more open conversation about abuse in sport at all levels, and shines a light on experiences like mine.”
“We need to ensure the words that survivors have shared with the Truth Project are learnt from, and listened to.”
Jordans Solicitors are here to advise
If you are affected by this post please do not hesitate to contact our specialist department by contacting us free on 033 0300 1103.
To date, our Abuse Team has successfully represented and secured compensation for numerous victims of abuse.
Jordans Solicitors represent individuals who have been abused as children or teenagers when attending clubs and organisations.
For more information about Sports Abuse and how Jordans Solicitors can help, click this link.