Reports of abusive behaviour in sporting organisations have increased in the past year, according to the NRC Handelsblad.
The paper quotes the victim aid organisation Slachtofferhulp Nederland, which said that 70 people reported this kind of abuse in 2018, compared with just 30 in 2017.
Behaviour ranged from ‘a hand on someone’s buttock to sexual assault and rape,’ board member Victor Jammers told the NRC.
Most of the reports came from alleged victims, although sports associations and friends also got in touch with Slachtofferhulp Nederland. The vast majority involved children under the age of consent, and slightly more than half were female.
Last week, the Telegraaf newspaper claimed that a suspended athletics coach, Jerry M., who sexually abused girls for more than three decades, was first reported to police in 2000. The report sparked allegations that alerts were not properly followed up.
A special commission led by former minister Klaas de Vries reported in 2017 that one in eight children and teenagers had experienced unwanted sexual attention in sports clubs – mostly from coaches or team leaders. It said the clubs needed to do much more to prevent abuse.
It is unclear whether the increased number of reports to Slachtofferhulp Nederland is related to more awareness, or a rise in incidents.
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