My name is Gloria Viseras. I am 51 years old and a mother of three children. I was Gymnastics National Champion and one of the only 9 women who represented Spain in the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Unfortunately, I was also a victim of sexual abuse in the context of sport from the age of 12 to the age of 15.
I have not been able to disclose for a long time until I met former teammates 30 years later. Verbalizing the abuse has helped me start with my recovery and put my whole life in perspective. Verbalizing the abuse has allowed me forgive myself for not being able to speak up and has made me realize that it had not been my fault.
Today I help other athletes find the help they need to recover from the consequences of having suffered sexual abuse in sport and campaign for healthy and safe sport.
My name is Karen Leach. Between the ages of 10 to 17 I competed at national and international level. My dream was to swim for Ireland at the Olympic Games. I loved swimming, I loved my sport, and nothing else mattered to me at that age. My dream came at a very high price.
My Irish Olympic coach abused me mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually. He destroyed my childhood and for many years after that my life was hell on earth because of the deep pain and hurt within me. What happened in swimming in Ireland must never happen again – everyone must know the truth and protect children in sport.
I know what it is like to be in a very dark, sad, lonely, frightening place, too scared to tell anyone. My message to you is – please speak, use your voice, tell someone, start your path to freedom, get help.
Today I am a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse. You can be too. Your Voice, Your Life, Your Truth.
“It makes sense to speak about, what has happened.”
Ralf Zitzmann experienced sexual violence in his younger days. His football coach was the perpetrator. Ralf describes his story publicly in the project ‘unbreakable’. His coach silenced him with the words: “Ralf, we understand each other. Don’t we?”. Ralf describes feelings of helplessness. He didn’t know who to address about his experience. He is able to talk 30 years later about his experiences. Ralf Zitzmann feels it is important to speak out in an attempt to prevent future sexual abuse.