It’s been over two weeks since former professional footballer, Andy Woodward went public and told us truth about the abuse he endured from his former coach Barry Bennell. Since then, this has spurred on a number of other footballers to come forward and a great number of phone calls to the child hotline NSPCC.
Abuse is such an umbrella term, in this context it means rape, bribe, threats, blackmail and lies.
This is not a matter of bias, but we need to acknowledge the world that men have been brought into. A world where a man’s pain or vulnerability is shameful, and is frowned upon. For these men to come forward is groundbreaking, they’ve come from an industry that thrives on bravado and machoism.
Despite the ongoing struggles women face, in this context there seems to be tougher barrier for boys and men to breakthrough. Women come out, men don’t. When asked if there was anyone they could tell, former footballer Chris Unsworth, who turned his back on football said: “No ..it just wasn’t the ‘in’ thing to do..”
The imagery of the alpha male is such a huge contrast to a boy or a man being penetrated, threatened, and bribed by a predator. It’s a shock to the system.
I keep thing to myself: hopefully this will encourage more and more young boys and girls men and women to tell the truth and discourage predators from preying on victims. Fact is, that predators will always exist but this movement of victims going public will ensure justice is served.
If you’ve been a victim of any kind of abuse – it’s not your fault, whoever did it to you is at fault and must be punished. If you’re aware of anyone who may be going through this, despite how difficult it may be, sometimes you have to be a whistleblower. Whatever has been hidden in the darkness must come to light.