Sexual abuse reports in Dutch sport more than doubled: report

Tennis (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vladsinger)Tennis (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Vladsinger)

The number of reports of sexual misconduct in Dutch sports more than doubled over the past year, according to figures from Victim Support. In 2017 there were 30 reports about unwanted sexual behavior, last year there were 70, NRC reports.

Nearly two thirds of reports were made by victims themselves, the rest by sport associations and people who know the victims. In 90 percent of cases the victim was underage, 55 percent are female.

According to Victor Jammers, chairman of Victim Support's board of directors, this involved various forms of unwanted sexual behavior committed by coaches, staff members and other athletes. "From a hand on the buttock to assault and rape", he said to the newspaper.

Jammers is not surprised by the sharp increase. "Since the De Vries committee published its findings on sexual abuse in sport at the end of 2017, more and more attention has been paid to the phenomenon. One of the effects is that people who experienced such a thing are more inclined to report it to us", he said. The committee, led by former Minister Klaas de Vries, found that 12 percent of Dutch athletes were sexually abused at their sports club as a child.

Last week it was revealed that 58-year-old athletics coach Jerry M. confessed to sexually abusing at least nine girls between the ages of 11 and 18 over the past 35 years. The Public Prosecutor launched an investigation this week. Victim Support expects a further increase in reports due to this case.