On BBC news, we came across Eric Bristow’s comments judging that the footballers who were brave enough to speak out publicly about the sexual abuse they suffered during their teenage years were not “proper men” for not “sorting out” their abusers “when they got older and fitter”. The former darts world champion caused outrage and has been criticised on social media.

 

Sports personalities like Eric Bristow should know better: being a man does not protect you from the post-traumatic stress, sense of isolation and fear of disbelief as well as the risks of self-harm that come from being sexually abused either as a child or an adult – we should stop pretending that men are less vulnerable as we know from our therapy work.

Some time ago we launched a campaign with the photograph of a football on a ground and the comment “Real Men Get Raped” for which justifiably we were criticised as it played to a stereotype of being a man which is misleading. Eric Bristow has fallen into the same trap.

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