Welcome to another week.
The news that football has been plagued by child sexual abuse has deeply affected a nation whose identity is rooted in the sport. Whilst the Football Association has promised to investigate the allegations, it now appears that other sports will come under the spotlight for child abuse.
Chief Constable Simon Bailey, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, said the number of ex-players coming forward was likely to grow significantly and that governing bodies from other sports would find themselves at the center of inquiries that are now being conducted across four forces.
Chief Constable Bailey made this statement after the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) confirmed it was aware of anecdotal evidence that child abuse had been an issue across swimming, tennis and judo and had not been properly investigated.
The question Researching Reform raised last weekend over this matter was whether or not the nation’s Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse should now be adding another strand to their investigations to include this latest development.
Thoughts against doing so include the worry that the Inquiry could become too big, and fail, or become so bogged down that it will never finish its work, and that as the police are currently investigating these allegations there is no need for the Inquiry to examine the issue.
Thoughts in favour of adding sexual abuse allegations in the sports sector to the Inquiry include the need to find out why such abuse takes place in a sports setting and give the Inquiry a chance to get a rounded picture of the abuse phenomenon, which could lead to more clues as to why abuse has been such a deeply impactful and ongoing practice in our culture, and perhaps even cultures around the world.
Our question then, is this: do you think the Inquiry should also look at child sexual abuse in sport as part of its investigation?
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments section below. If you’re also on Twitter, come on over and take our Survey asking the same question.