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Abuse by Sports Coaches Solicitors

Abuse by Sports and Athletics Coaches

Claims of Abuse by Sports and Athletics Coaches

Sports coaches are placed in a position of trust and owe a duty of care to the children they coach, and sometimes, that trust is abused. (In March 2021, child abuse laws were changed to include sports coaches, banning them from engaging in sexual activity with 16- or 17-year olds in their care, despite them being above the age of consent in the UK.)

If you or someone you know has suffered due to abuse by sports or athletics coaches, we are here for you at Farleys Solicitors. We are specialists in child abuse cases, with more than 20 years of experience behind us in these cases. That means we understand how much courage it takes for you to speak out about abuse, and how difficult it can be when you do.

Our abuse claims specialists at Farleys have many years of experience acting for people who have experienced abuse at the hands of their sports coaches while under the age of 18, and assisted them in their search for closure. We have successfully secured damages for clients to allow them to access the therapy and support they need to move on with their lives.

We have helped athletes and competitors in sports including (but not limited to):

Your safety, wellbeing and privacy are our top priorities here at Farleys, and we take care to keep them in mind at every stage of the process. We focus on providing you with compassionate, comprehensive legal advice throughout your case, giving you clear, simple explanations of all the available options open to you. Our specialist solicitors don’t make any pivotal decisions about your case without consulting you first – ultimately, the choice of how to proceed is all up to you.

Making a Claim for Compensation Following Abuse by Sports and Athletics Coaches

If you or your child have suffered abuse at the hands of a sports coach, whether recently or historically, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. You can discuss the possibility of making a claim with a member of our team in confidence. We will explain the process and ensure you are informed of what is involved before you instruct us to pursue the claim on your behalf.

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We have a dedicated phone number for abuse claim enquiries 0330 134 6430 or, if you don’t feel ready to talk to someone on the phone, you can contact us by email or through our online chat.

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FAQ's

What are the time limits for making a sports club abuse claim?

Technically speaking, claims are supposed to be made before the child’s 21st birthday, or within 3 years of the date of the abuse. However, in practice, the UK legal system recognises that it’s often immensely difficult for survivors to come forward, and in some cases those affected may not even realise that what they were subjected to was abuse. For these reasons alone, it’s common for cases to only emerge years or even decades after the abuse occurred.

Other obstacles can include:

  • Fear of not being believed
  • Feelings of shame or guilt
  • Fear of the abuser, especially after intimidation or explicit threats of violence
  • Difficulty in articulating the nature or scale of the abuse
  • Trying to protect family or loved ones (or even the abuser themselves)
  • Feelings of powerlessness
  • Suppression of the memories of the abuse
  • Struggles with the psychological impact of the abuse

If any of this sounds like something that you or a loved one has experienced – or may be currently experiencing – then we’re here to help. We understand exactly how difficult it can be to open up to someone about the abuse you’ve suffered, so we’re ready to help you find closure whenever you’re ready.

It’s worth noting that while the timescales can be flexible for some sports club abuse claims, once you’ve made the decision to pursue one then it’s better to get in touch with us sooner rather than later, as that makes it easier for investigators to gather key evidence that might be in danger of being relocated, lost or destroyed over time.

Will my confidentiality be protected?

Yes. We take your privacy very seriously here at Farleys Solicitors – everything you tell us will be treated in the strictest confidence until you’re ready for us to proceed, and we treat all documents in connection with your case as classified. We’ll always ask your permission before we contact outside organisations or individuals about your case – including social services and the police – and if you’d prefer, we can also apply to the court for client anonymity on your behalf.

What is the process for making a sports club abuse claim?

Just like our process for other types of child abuse here at Farleys, our process for child abuse claims can be classed into several key stages. This is primarily to ensure that we have sufficient evidence for your claim, and can assemble it into a solid case with the best chance of success.

It runs as follows:

A free case assessment with one of our expert solicitors is the first stage of our process. This is so that we can assess the likelihood of success for your claim. We know that this can be the most difficult conversation to have, so your sense of comfort, safety and security are our top priorities throughout.

Allocation to a specialist who will handle your case. From here on out, this specialist solicitor will serve as your main point of contact, so that you don’t have to endure the same painful conversations about your experiences with multiple different strangers. Instead, your personal solicitor can keep all the details of your case confidential, giving you control over what information you’re comfortable sharing.

Collection of evidence. This is the most crucial stage, and accordingly it’s normally the most complex and time consuming. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may need to bring in outside experts, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. If that becomes necessary though, you can rely on us to be here to support you throughout.

Tally of compensation amount. Many of the survivors we help tell us that the case isn’t about money, but rather about getting justice and closure. We recognise that here at Farleys, but equally we know that a settlement can be invaluable to support you in other areas of your life, and your future. For that reason alone, we focus on securing you an amount that properly reflects the background of your case, and your current circumstances.

Settling your claim. Once all the relevant evidence has been collected, we’ll be ready to bring your case against the coach or athletics organisation responsible. It’s worth saying here that most cases are resolved long before they go to court – but if yours is one of the very few exceptions, you can trust us to be here to support you every step of the way.

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