Former Netherlands football player reveals sexual abuse

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Former Netherlands international Vera Pauw said on Friday she was sexually abused by three men employed within Dutch football when she was a player, which she has recently reported to the police feeling that she got no support from the Dutch FA (KNVB).

59-year-old Pauw, who is now the Ireland women’s national team coach, played for the Netherlands from 1984-1998. She then began her coaching career with Scotland women’s team, moving to coach the Netherlands in 2004 for six years.

“For 35 years I have kept a secret from the world, from my family, from my team mates… and, I can now accept, from myself,” Pauw wrote in a statement published on Twitter.

“Even those closest to me have not known of the rape I endured at the hands of a prominent football official when I was a young player. Later two sexual assaults by two other men were added to this record.”
All three men were employed within Dutch football at the time of the incidents, Pauw said.

Pauw added that only those she trusted have known of the “systematic sexual abuse, abuse of power, bullying, intimidation, isolation and framing” she was exposed to as a player and coach in Dutch football.

“For the past number of years I have tried to have my case heard in a fair and just manner by the football authorities in the Netherlands but to no avail,” Pauw said.

“I can no longer share the silence.”