It is six months since football was plunged into a sexual abuse crisis after a number of former professionals took the courageous decision to reveal details of their suffering.
What began as a few brave individuals breaking their silence has rapidly grown into a chorus of voices, with more than 500 people waiving their right to anonymity to tell their story.
The actual number of victims is likely to be significantly higher, with many of those affected so traumatised that they would rather remain in the shadows. While sexual crime has a notoriously low report rate, research suggests that this is particularly true among male victims.
The last available figures, released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council last month, showed 560 people had come forward citing abuse and 252 suspects had been named since the investigation began in November. Around 23% of the reported incidents related to the sport at professional level.
The consequences of the abuse suffered may manifest itself in a variety of ways, with victims revealing how they have suffered anxiety, depression, flashbacks and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Many have said their experience has made forming close relationships virtually impossible.
The formal inquiry into the scandal, led by barrister Clive Sheldon QC, was launched by the Football Association in December and will last several months, with a final report not expected to be published until 2018.
The review is asking anyone involved with football who wishes to provide information about the way in which clubs or the FA dealt with concerns over child sex abuse between 1970 and 2005 to come forward.
How can our Personal Injury Lawyers help?
Gotelee Solicitors have a specialist team of Suffolk lawyers who can provide sensitive care and expert guidance to people who may wish to bring civil claims for compensation as a result of sexual abuse in their past.
The Suffolk law firm, which has offices in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Melton, Hadleigh and Woodbridge, is partnered with Ipswich charity Survivors in Transition (SiT) to help navigate victims through the process. SiT aims to empower survivors to take control of their lives and cope better with the daily effects the abuse has left them with.
Gotelee are members of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, which help to bring together a team of experts, including doctors, counsellors, psychiatrists and specialist barristers.
To find out how we can help you, contact us on 01473 298125.