Ensure Abuse Victims Have Access To Compensation
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Ever since former footballer Andy Woodward waived his right for anonymity and spoke out about the abuse he suffered as a young player it has become clear that there was a failure to protect children who participated in the sport at a grassroots level. With over 1,000 cases of historic abuse reported to the police since the football abuse scandal went public there are clearly a large number of victims who have lived with this burden and have never received justice.
Abuse often took place at smaller local clubs that have since disbanded; it is for this reason that abuse survivors can find it difficult to seek civil justice against those who were negligent in their duty of care to children. It is thought that nearly 250 clubs will be impacted by police investigations into historic abuse, with many of these not having access to the resources required to settle compensation claims from those that they failed to protect from abuse.
We are calling on the FA and its membership to be charged a small fee that can be placed in to a compensation fund, which will ensure that abuse survivors receive a fair amount of compensation for the negligent care they received.
This fee could be charged when the FA and its members renew their employers' liability policies. A similar fund was established for those diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer linked to past exposure to asbestos. This fund was collected by insurers through a small levy placed on liability policies and highlights that the establishment of a compensation fund is both achievable and beneficial – to both claimants and defendants.
While justice can be served against individual abusers through the Criminal Courts abuse survivors often feel that the institutions and organisations that exposed them to abuse do not have to face the same justice.
Civil claims against those organisations that failed in their duty of care are the best way of delivering a sense of justice and closure to survivors of abuse and the establishment of this compensation fund will ensure that no abuse survivor is told that they cannot make a claim because an old insurance policy cannot be found or that their old club no longer exists.
As the FA is the single body with oversight of football at various levels across the country we call on Martin Glenn and Greg Clarke – the FA's CEO and Chairman – to take action and establish this levy to ensure that abuse victims are properly compensated for the years they lost due to a club's negligence.
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