Saturday 19 January 2019

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster opens up about being sexually abused as a teen

Allen Leech and Charlie Webster attends the EE British Academy Film Awards Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Actor Allen Leech (R) and Charlie Webster attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Charlie Webster
Charlie Webster (L) and Allen Leech attend the BFI London Film Festival IWC Gala Dinner in honour of the BFI at Battersea Evolution Marquee
Charlie Webster (L) and Allen Leech attend The Weinstein Company & Netflix's 2015 Golden Globes After Party presented by FIJI Water, Lexus, Laura Mercier and Marie Claire at The Beverly Hilton Hotel
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster has opened up about her own experiences with sexual abuse at a sports conference.

The 32-year-old broadcaster, who has been dating Irish actor Allen Leech for nearly a year, was a guest speaker at the Sports Respects Your Rights conference in Vienna.

And she said that the only way to truly convey her message is to speak her about being abused as a teenager by an athletics coach.

"I hate statistics; I'm really not a numbers person but I'm kind of getting annoyed with the phrase 'one in five'. One in five women in the UK have experienced sexual abuse," she said in a special Glamour magazine news feature ahead of her talk onThursday. "One in five women in Europe have experience sexual abuse. One in five women in the world has experienced sexual abuse.

"If you look around you now, or the next time you head out, and realise how many people 'one in five' actually is, it really hits you - that is a hell of a lot of women who have been sexually abused, or will be."

Read more: The look of love: Allen Leech and girlfriend Charlie are smitten at gala event

Webster explained that in order to deviate from statistics, it's important to remember the people being affected by abuse.

"I realised I had to tell my story," she said. "I've spoken before about the sexual abuse I experienced as a teenager by my running coach. My experience shows how easily sexual abuse can happen; how people in a position of trust can use their authority to manipulate.

Actor Allen Leech (R) and Charlie Webster attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Actor Allen Leech (R) and Charlie Webster attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

"It shows how hard it is to utter a single word to anyone. When something bad happens, your instinct is to protect yourself, and sometimes you surround yourself in denial."

She has previously spoken out about the abuse, which happened when she was 15.

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