From Larry Nassar abusing girl gymnasts to the scandal at USA Swimming, many recent news stories have exposed the sexual abuse of minors in sport all over the world. They suggest an even broader phenomenon.
It’s thought that between 10 and 15% of athletes have been victims of sexual abuse. The number of children who are victims is estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands, with abuse more likely to be covered-up at elite levels. Children who practice sports are twice as likely to experience sexual abuse or harassment than those who don’t. The magnitude of this phenomenon probably exceeds the number of victims of pedophilia in the Church.
Based on an unprecedented investigation covering different sports in several different countries over a period of several years, we reveal how the system often protects the abuser.
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