Sexual abuse and the grooming process in sport: Bella’s story.

Owton, Helen and Sparkes, Andrew C. (2017). Sexual abuse and the grooming process in sport: Bella’s story. Sport, Education and Society, 22(6) pp. 732–743.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2015.1063484

Abstract

Through a process of collaborative autoethnography we explore the experiences of one female athlete named Bella who was groomed and then sexually abused by her male coach. Bella’s story signals how the structural conditions and power relationships embedded in competitive sporting environments, specifically the power invested in the coach, provide a unique socio-cultural context that offer a number of potentialities for sexual abuse and exploitation to take place. We offer Bella’s story as a pedagogical resource for those involved in the world of sport to both think about and with as part of a process of encouraging change at the individual and institutional levels.

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