19 June 2020


Sexual Harassment


Sport as a cover for child abuse: findings of the Independent Inquiry

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has published new research showing that sport can be used as a cover by perpetrators of abuse, the Guardian reports.

Of the 3,939 survivors of sexual abuse who came forward as part of the Inquiry, 64 described abuse that took place in a sporting environment. 58 of those 64 individuals reported sexual abuse by a sporting coach or volunteer. All perpetrators discussed by this group were adult males, with sports clubs most frequently reported as the location of the abuse (i.e. in 39 out of the 64 cases).

Findings show that there are many factors associated with the enabling of abuse that feature in other areas of life but that sport provides a more conducive environment for physical contact, with the primary perpetrators being coaches and other adults working in sporting facilities. Survivors reported being subject to a wide range of abusive behaviour, including abuse being perpetrated under the guise of sporting activity.

Others described abuse taking place in the homes and cars of abusers and within their own homes. Grooming was found to be common; as well as trips away and gifts, participants describe perpetrators attempting to normalise abuse through overly physical contact, sexualised comments and text messages, or being shown pornographic material.

A full report will be published with a larger sample size covering all contexts of abuse at the end of the Inquiry.

Source: The Guardian

Written by:

Farore Law Logo

Farore Law