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© 2016

Sexual Abuse in Sport

A Qualitative Case Study

Book

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Helen Owton
    Pages 1-6
  3. Helen Owton
    Pages 21-40
  4. Helen Owton
    Pages 41-53
  5. Helen Owton
    Pages 55-79
  6. Helen Owton
    Pages 81-109
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 111-128

About this book

Introduction

This book is about sexual abuse in sport, and specifically about one girl’s experience of long-term chronic abuse in sport. A ‘non-conventional’ approach is employed to explore the experiences of a female athlete named Bella who was groomed, sexually abused by her male coach, and then subjected to years of athlete domestic violence. Through a collaborative auto-ethnography process, these experiences are reported through vignettes and selected poems seeking to involve the reader in the grooming process of a young female athlete, so that they might react from the different social positions they currently occupy. 

Bella’s story acts as a pedagogical resource in ways that stimulate ethical discussions and enhance knowledge of sexual abuse in sport, by assisting those involved to better understand their own ‘field’ and the dynamics of abuse within it, in order to develop effective abuse prevention strategies.

Helen Owton is a chartered psychologist and a lecturer in Sport and Fitness in the School of Childhood, Youth and Sport at the Open University. She has published widely in sport and in the field of sexual abuse in sport, and has won a "Citation for Excellence" award from the Qualitative Methods of Psychology. Her primary research specialisms lie in innovative qualitative investigations of sporting embodiment and gender, and other research interests focus around chronic illnesses (especially asthma), women’s boxing, and dance.

Keywords

Physical Education Coach Exercise Authority Sport violence rape

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The Open University Milton KeynesUnited Kingdom

About the authors

Helen Owton is a chartered psychologist and a lecturer in Sport and Fitness in the School of Childhood, Youth and Sport at the Open University. She has published widely in sport and in the field of sexual abuse in sport, and has won a "Citation for Excellence" award from the Qualitative Methods of Psychology. Her primary research specialisms lie in innovative qualitative investigations of sporting embodiment and gender, and other research interests focus around chronic illnesses (especially asthma), women’s boxing, and dance.

Bibliographic information

Reviews

“The book is a vivid account of Bella’s years of abuse by her athletic coach, presented with respect and deference through the self-described ‘non-conventional’ approach of collaborative autoethnography. … Owton’s book can serve as an excellent model for other researchers to use.”(Katrina S Hacker and Margaux Genoff Garzon, Feminism & Psychology, Vol. 28 (3), August, 2018)



“This book is appropriate for undergraduate, graduate students, instructors, coaches, or anyone who is concerned about or wants a greater understanding of sexual abuse. It is an ideal supplemental text for a gender and psychology class, an introduction to psychology class, or a sport psychology class. … Through reading the book, students, practitioners, and professionals will reflect on a taboo issue that occurs in sport and hopefully consider ways to make sport safer for all.” (Jennifer J. Waldron, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 62 (13), March, 2017)


“The book is a must read for anybody who has children participating in sport or indeed is immersed in a sporting context (i.e. coach, official). … this book awoke my consciousness to what sexual abuse and exploitation is as well as the associated grooming process.” (Jenny McMahon, Children & Society, Vol. 32 (2), 2018)


“This book is most directly useful for: social science academics; sport and/or sociology university students and therapists/potential therapist. Readers of Psychology & Sexuality will find the book to be very powerful; thought provoking and; vastly informative of the area of sexual abuse in sport, which is too commonly an unnoticed and under-represented subject in academia.” (Rebecca House, Psychology & Sexuality, Vol. 8 (4), 2017)