Abuse in Sport
It is impossible to watch the news these past few days without hearing and reading about recent revelations about children being abused in the wake of the conviction of Barry Bennell. It appears that football is the latest institution to have it’s doors flung open due to abuse allegations.
This is a very important development in the current narrative about historic abuse. Football is something that most men, of all ages, have some experience with. The idea that youth teams were a place where child abuse occurred is shocking to many, and the bravery of those footballers who have come forward can be something that make the whole issue of abuse something that people no longer feel unable to talk about.
I see the victims of abuse regularly in my practice, and almost universally, they report that the felt ashamed and unable to discuss it as the subject was taboo. With more and more people coming forward to talk about this public ally there is a far more of an opportunity to get this discussed and more importantly, get people the help they need. This is whether the abuse happened 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago.
There is no doubt that these revelations will be uncomfortable for many people, but the truth is that making changes to the way things are seen and understood often is an uncomfortable process.