Vera Pauw, a former Dutch international now Ireland manager, has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by three men employed in Dutch football when she was a player. She recently reported these attacks to the police, believing that she had received no support from the Dutch federation (KNVB).
“For 35 years I kept this a secret from the rest of the world, from my family, from my teammates and my players.she wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. Even those closest to me are unaware of the rape committed by a senior football official when I was a young player. Later, I was the target of two more assaults by other men. All three were working in Dutch football at the time. »
Multiple alerts sent to the Federation
The Dutchwoman said she had sent five reports to the KNVB and had recently reported her rape and sexual assault to the Dutch police.
“It already feels like the beginning of the end for me, but I know there will be more heartbreak to come. But I also hope that other young footballers and managers who have been exposed to something like what I went through will now feel brave enough to come forward and share their stories.”she continues.
The Dutch Federation indicated that it had been “very shocked by the events described by Vera during a discussion last year” and that it had then entrusted an investigation to an independent body.
This brought to light a number of errors in the way the assaults suffered by Vera Pauw were handled and the fact that the Federation “did not react quickly enough to the first warnings given by Pauw on inappropriate sexual behavior in 2011”.