27 January 2017
Call For Action: Child Abuse in Football Petition
The abuse lawyers at Slater and Gordon are proud to support WhiteFlowers’ online petition, which calls for an independent inquiry into child abuse in football.
The petition calls for the FA to recognise the severity of any crimes and to ban any ‘participant’ in the game who is found guilty of child abuse.
By signing the petition, signatories do so in solidarity with those who have courageously come forward to reveal the widespread nature of child abuse in football, and to encourage others.
Child Sex Abuse in Football
More than 500 victims and 184 potential suspects have been identified by police investigating football's child sex abuse scandal, according to recent figures.
The inquiry involves 248 football clubs, spanning all tiers of the game from the Premier League down to amateur level, said the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), which is co-ordinating the massive police investigation Operation Hydrant.
The latest figures show the total number of potential victims is 526 , with 97 per cent identified as male. Their ages span from four to 20 years old.
Victims or anyone with information are asked to call police on 101 or the NSPCC and FA helpline on 0800 023 2442.
Call For Action
We support the call for action in the interest of the survivors and children and back the following points outlined by WhiteFlowers campaign group. The inquiry must:
- identify and make recommendations regarding those persons and organisations in football that have failed to report allegations of child abuse of young people to the authorities and so uphold their duty of care;
- investigate whether the FA in its structures and regulations has sufficient transparency to protect children and young people in the game;
- identify and make recommendations as to any potential weakness in current practice and protocols regarding protecting children and young people;
- ensure compliance with statutory child protection protocols such as bans from working or volunteering in sports;
- institute and promote a national child abuse awareness week for all UK sports;
- ensure compliance with national and internal protocols for child protection and that allegations of actual or suspected child abuse are reported to all relevant authorities as defined by the protocols;
- promote full co-operation with child protection investigations related to the sport.
Among the many supporters of WhiteFlowers’ call for action are the country’s main supporters’ organisations, the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct and fans groups at Liverpool, Everton, Manchester City, Tottenham and 16 other clubs.
You can sign the petition online here.
Kim Harrison is Slater and Gordon’s national co-ordinator for human rights and an abuse specialist.
Slater and Gordon have the UK’s most experienced team of abuse lawyers and are currently representing over 800 survivors of abuse.
We offer a free and completely confidential consultation to anyone affected by sexual abuse. Call us anytime 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.
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