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‘Blow the whistle’ to end child sexual abuse in sports

“One in five children are victims of sexual abuse or violence, and in the field of sport, children are particularly vulnerable,” Liliane Maury Pasquier said today, at an event organised by PACE's Social Affairs Committee, on the occasion of the European Day for the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (18 November) and aimed at promoting the 'Start to talk' campaign launched by the Council of Europe.

“It is very tough for a child to face sexual violence,” said Ms Maury Pasquier, also on the eve of World Children's Day (20 November). “For some of us, it is important to develop the reflex of talking to someone we trust, for others, to pass laws. But the essential thing is that it no longer remains a taboo subject.”

“Feelings of guilt, shame and confusion are bricks that make up the wall of silence surrounding many of the young people who are abused in this scenario,” added Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe. “It must be stopped. The wall of silence must be taken down, never to be rebuilt – and it’s up to all of us to make that happen.”