Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster opens up about being sexually abused as a teen
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.
An honour to speak at Sports Respects Your Rights European conference. pic.twitter.com/SOZHs9ZzhC— Charlie Webster (@CharlieCW) February 26, 2015
"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."
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.
"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.