In this podcast episode, we talk with former professional footballer Paul Stewart. Paul talks about the impact that childhood abuse has had on him and how we can all help to create a safer culture in sport for young people.
We discuss the importance of creating a culture of safety where children's voices are heard. Paul also emphasises the importance of robust safeguarding policies and procedures in sport and activity to ensure all children and young people have a safe and fun experience.
Looking after yourself
During this podcast we talk about childhood sexual abuse. This may be difficult to hear and, for some people, it may bring up distressing memories, thoughts or feelings.
Whilst it may not be easy to listen to, this episode includes important information to help all of us keep children safe in sport.
To look after yourself while you listen consider taking breaks, listening during a walk or before an activity you enjoy such as exercise or meeting a friend.
You will find links to organisations that can provide emotional support below.
Can’t see the player? You can also listen to this episode on our Audioboom channel.
Paul Stephenson – CPSU Senior Consultant
Paul Stewart – former professional footballer
Paul Stewart is a former Premiership and International footballer who played for some of the biggest clubs in English Football, including Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs and Liverpool.
Paul has lived experience of childhood sexual abuse by his football coach. Paul’s story was featured in BBC1’s “Football's Darkest Secret”, where he discussed openly and honestly about the impact abuse has had on his life.
Since speaking about his experience, Paul now works to create safer spaces and cultures within sport for all children, young people, adults at risk and athletes. Paul works for the English Football League and Premier League to education and raise awareness with academy players, staff and volunteers.
- Protecting children in sport from grooming and sexual abuse
- Engaging people with lived experience of childhood sexual abuse in sport
- Protecting children from sexual abuse – information for professionals from NSPCC Learning
- NSPCC – Child sexual abuse – information for parents
- NWG Network – tackling child sexual exploitation
- Sport England Safeguarding Advisory Panel – provides advice and support to Sport England and, where appropriate, funded organisations on aspects relating to safeguarding in sport.
Helplines and support
- NSPCC Helpline tel: 0808 800 5000 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org – helping adults to protect children
- Childline tel: 0800 1111 – for children and young people aged 18 and under
- HAVOCA – Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse
- NAPAC – The National Association for People Abused in Childhood
- One in Four – support in Ireland for adults who experienced childhood sexual abuse
- Rape Crisis – support in England and Wales
- Rape Crisis Help – support in Ireland
- Reporting abuse, getting support and survivor voice – resources for survivors from The FA
- Stop It Now! Helpline tel: 0808 1000 900 – UK and Ireland
- Survivors UK – support for men
- The Samaritans tel: 116 123 – a safe place to talk any time you like
- A guide to waiving anonymity – developed by the FA Survivor Support and Safeguarding Advisory Group (FASSSAG)
- Learning from lived experience of childhood sexual abuse – CPSU podcast
- From recommendations to action – embedding safeguarding learning into practice – Ann Craft Trust podcast (featuring Paul Stephenson, CPSU Senior Consultant)
- Understanding sexual offending and the grooming process – CPSU webinar
- Involving children and young people – CPSU guidance and resources for involving children and young people in decision-making within your sport or activity
- 5 questions to ask your child's club
- Deal with a concern
- Safeguarding reporting procedures – flowcharts
- Sample codes of conduct
- Sample safeguarding policy statement
- Report into child sexual abuse in sport – Truth Project Thematic Report