Abuse, The Worst Side Of The Sport

2021-02-05   |   by CusiGO

In the past two years, two coaches have been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of minors. Sports technician Miguel Angel mill á n abused two young athletes he trained in Tenerife, and 11 young athletes testified in the trial (including Barcelona Olympic runner up Antonio penalfo in 1992). They can’t file a complaint because the crime is prescribed, but their testimony is crucial. Milan were convicted in February 2019. Carlos Franch, a rhythmic gymnastics coach in Bates, a small town in the province of Castellon, has abused 12 gymnasts for more than 20 years, some of them under the age of 13. The verdict was delivered at the end of November. They’re all in prison. They have all used their own strength to commit this kind of behavior for many years: in the alliance of silence and indifference. In such a short period of time, can these two historical judgments mark a change in Spanish sports? Are athletes no longer afraid of condemnation?

Carolina Lucci is a juvenile prosecutor at the high court of castron province. For the past decade, she has been responsible for bringing charges in various sexual abuse lawsuits and leading the charges against France. “I want to think, I want to believe that yes, these two sentences and the efforts of these boys and girls will help. In addition to conviction, the great success of this procedure is: first listen to the views of the victims, and then let them see what is happening in the sports world. We think this is a very healthy area, and unfortunately, in some cases, it is not healthy. “It’s a pity and anger that these things happen in sports, because sports are solidarity and friendship,” he explained on the phone. It’s equally disturbing, for example, when church abuses are made public.

“Publicity and communication are extremely important because society needs to know something: it has to know that it is being condemned. Not only the victims, but also the attackers. They have to know about the existence of the prosecutor’s office, the existence of convictions, and if you sexually abuse a minor, you could be sentenced to 15 and a half years in prison. We have to be straightforward and we can’t ignore these things, “added Lluch.

The prosecutor, the mother of the children of two athletes, recalled that she would attend the testimony of child abuse at Bates sports club every morning and take the children to judo in the afternoon.

The prosecution against Carlos Franch was preceded by two more cases of abuse of minors: abduction and sexual abuse of girls living in protection centres by the elderly, and abuse of minors with criminal records by the police. Conviction. The defendant is in prison. “This is not because there are more crimes, because unfortunately they are committed in the dark, but because minors are more aware that they can seek and be protected. There is greater awareness and higher awareness in society.”

641 to 1833 criminal proceedings involving five children

By 2020, as the annual report of the attorney general’s office is currently being drafted, there is no data to reflect the increase in complaints. However, a recent report, published in the autumn, shows a significant increase in sexual abuse lawsuits against minors (although it doesn’t distinguish which areas). 1833 in 2019, 1185 in 2018, 935 in 2017, 795 in 2016, 664 in 2015 and 641 in 2014. According to who (World Health Organization), one in five children is sexually abused before the age of 17. Sports are no stranger.

Unfortunately, there are many people in every procedure who refuse because the victims are afraid to report. Others don’t even know they’re suffering. Sexual abuse is a crime committed under the shadow of the law of silence and emotional blackmail. The conditions in sports have their breeding grounds. “Especially when there is a power asymmetry, because coaches depend on the performance of children and future generations. Abusers know this and use threats and silence. For every girl who talks or complains, there are a lot of other people who don’t know, we don’t know what’s going on in clubs, high performance and technology centers. We now know more about gender based violence. If a neighbor is abusing his wife, we call him. We know we need to call. But in sports, it’s a tough task. “You don’t want to see how bad sport is, you don’t want to see it as a good place for abuse… If you don’t talk about abuse, because there’s no abuse,” reflects ana arazo, an expert in women’s and professional sports and psychosocial treatment of sexual violence. Alazo knows the atmosphere of the high performance center because he works there.

Mar í a mart í Nez, a psychologist who works with elite athletes (Carolina Marin and others, as well as triathlons, archers, balomano, surfers), says it’s really a little talked about topic. “It’s a very difficult thing to solve, and it won’t be solved unless someone doubts it. “It’s hard to sympathize with the victims because it’s almost impossible for people to imagine how much harm they’re going to get in this situation,” he explained.

Luluch, who has sexually abused minors in different fields, said he was most interested in sexual abuse in sports because of overconfidence. “In previous Proceedings (girls in juvenile centres or child victims of police), we have no doubt that the victims, in addition to minors, are in a vulnerable or dangerous situation. On the other hand, in sports, the cost of thinking about these situations is higher than in the same situation. We must not forget that these crimes affect any social class, any cultural level and anyone. Parents who take their children to sports clubs understand that sports values are supreme. In this case, this is not the case, “he said.

She said she never found the door of her child’s training room locked and said the doors and windows had to be opened. Such a simple thing would not happen in some pavilions, such as the motor gymnasium in Madrid. The tutor who lives with Bloom’s gymnasts has no chance to enter without further action. “If they don’t do anything wrong, the door has to be open to everyone. If not, we will put the camera there and record the training every day. See if anyone dares to say to a child, “you’re an asshole, you’re an asshole, I’ll ruin your life, I’m a mirror, it’ll bounce back, bounce back,” the prosecutor said. For example, the phrase Bates gymnasts listen to every day is yes, and so is another day.

“Sports don’t look”

“The problem is that coaches only see players, footballers, gymnasts, swimmers… That’s not the case. They are boys and girls, engaged in sports, and have many areas of development, whether in high performance centers or in country teams. If we just look at them that way, we’ll only use this profile, and when it doesn’t fit us, we’ll throw it away. In sports, two phrases are often repeated, which makes me angry: nothing ever happened, we always do. It’s not that abuse in sports is ignored, it’s that it’s not seen directly, and there’s no such expression, “said I niana ki Alonso, who is responsible for child protection in sports.

Lonso, who has devoted his life to children’s rights and has carried out projects in save the children, UNICEF and the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees, believes that we are still at a very early stage in making the sports environment a place free from abuse. “Protection does not mean over protection. It means a space of honesty, confidence and freedom to expose problems, solve problems and provide solutions for children. Explain to them decisions that sometimes don’t exactly fit their wishes, “he insisted.

After Carlos French’s sentence, two rhythmic gymnasts from Lyon denounced the unreasonable treatment and made it public. A cantrano in Valencia, also a minor, accused Pedro Cortes, the former president of the club, of abusing him. “There are minors in my office who come to tell me about abuse, but they don’t want to report it. Because they’re ashamed, they hate themselves. Worst of all, who do you think would believe I was a child? “Said larch. He remembers Bates’ victims crying, saying they had grown up. “It’s all my fault in Carolina, and if I reported it, it wouldn’t have happened,” he said, and they repeated.

Guilt and shame

Maria mart í Nez, a sports psychologist, has confirmed how complex the internal processes of victims of sexual abuse are. “The mind is ready to survive, to protect us from danger, injury and pain, and when we experience this and continue over time, the mind tends to shut down and stop. You know you’re living, but you don’t feel able to think about it, let alone talk about it. You went through it, went through it, found some survival mechanism at that moment, and lived with the aggressor in a threatening relationship. Your value depends on the person who listens to you, and when he listens to you, he will hurt you. This is a very difficult environment. When the victim realizes this, he will be ashamed; when you are ashamed, the last thing you want to do is tell them that you want them to swallow you, “he describes.

The strong and historic sentences in Milan and France make it clear that sexual abuse is not at large in sports, either. What can we do to eliminate the root cause of the problem so that sport is a space, a demand, but an abuse of health and freedom? “If these agreements are implemented, they will work; we need training in sex education and protection. If you have children who know their bodies won’t be touched and have tools to prevent sexual abuse, another rooster will sing. We will reduce the proportion of people who are abused because they will speak earlier, because parents will be more vigilant, because they will not be abused Better and more focused institutions. “It’s a systemic problem, and we all have to put a piece of our own sand in it,” alazo said.

Inaki Alonso agreed. “What is lacking is the real commitment and responsibility of the actors we take action in grass-roots sports to ensure the well-being of children. I’m very radical, but I think that all people who are active in grass-roots sports, whether they are competitive or neighborhood, must receive minimum prevention training. ”

It’s everyone’s job, luluch admits. “Of course, it is very painful for the police force to see a policeman maltreat a minor. Of course, the self-government of the Valencia community was painfully informed that some gentlemen were going to the center to pick up the girls. But now what happened? Any strange behavior will be condemned and the machine will work. In castron, we are all on alert; the juvenile section (the office of the prosecutor) visits these centres, sometimes talks to them, sometimes decides after the conversation to report that they have been abused. That’s what we’re going to do! The prosecution of these crimes is an unknown task; it’s a very difficult task, ready to use, “he pointed out. How about sports? “When information comes from the Federation, children get a sense of security… Because then they understand that the Federation is there to protect them,” he concluded.