Inquiry finds perpetrators of child sexual abuse use sport as a cover

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Line marking on a football field

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published new research regarding child sexual abuse in sport.

The inquiry reports that perpetrators of child sexual abuse can use sport as a cover to exploit children’s vulnerabilities and that physical contact sport enables coaches and instructors to groom and abuse children.

64 survivors of sexual abuse who came forward to the Truth Project as part of the inquiry described sexual abuse that took place in a sporting environment. The majority of those reported sexual abuse by a sporting coach or volunteer in a sports organisation.

The wider analysis of Truth Project accounts is ongoing, and a full report will be published with a bigger sample size covering all contexts of abuse at the end of the inquiry.

Football abuse

Enable Law’s Gary Walker is currently representing a number of people who were abused whilst as young members of sports clubs. Gary say “I have represented many survivors of abuse who have been abused as children by a coach. In the majority of those cases, the children were not been able to come forward and talk about what was happening as they thought they would not be believed. I hope that clubs and organisations are able to reflect on the evidence given to the inquiry and make sure they have strict child protection policies to ensure that abusers are not able to use sport to abuse children.”

If you or someone you know has been affected by issues raised in this article, you can contact us.