Contributed by Fresh Start New Beginnings
20/09/2021 - Fresh Start New Beginnings
Former ITFC footballer Kieron Dyer, who has starred in the current series’ of ITV’s ‘Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins’, has opened up about his experiences of sexual abuse as a child and is joining with a local charity’s calls for communities to speak up for victims.
The former footballer is an ambassador for Suffolk charity Fresh Start new beginnings (FSNB), which offers therapeutic and support services for children up to the age of 18 who have reported sexual abuse, and their families.
Kieron and the charity are now calling on members of the public and professionals who work with young people to spot the signs of abuse and to reach out for help as soon as possible.
On last night’s ITV show, Kieron disclosed the abuse he had suffered when he was 11 but spoke about his determination not to let it control his life. He said: “I’m not a victim no more” and “every time I’m a victim he wins, every time I hurt my family, and they’re victims, he wins.”
Adding to these comments, Kieron now says; “What happened to me happens to so many other young kids out there. It’s such a hidden crime – 90% of sexually abused children know their abuser – so perpetrators get away with this horrific behaviour for too long.
“For years it defined me and my life went in the wrong direction. I got help and it changed everything because it showed me that none of what happened was my fault, and I didn’t have to live with the damage it had caused. I could change my life.
“Now, I don’t see myself as a victim, I’m living the life I want to live, with people I love and I want others to see that. My message to other people going through what happened to me, is to stay strong and to ask for help. It is not your fault and there are so many people who can support you. I also want every parent, teacher, doctor, sports coach, friend, neighbour to speak out if they see something wrong. Abused kids are often going through this on their own and need people to step in and get them the help they need.”
Currently, FSNB supports around 200 children across Suffolk and Norfolk per year with an average of 50 children on the waiting list.
FSNB Managing Director Patsy Johnson-Cisse continues: “We have so much respect and admiration for Kieron for sharing his very private story with so many people.
“He has supported our charity for years, and it is through stories such as his, that we can show young people, their families and the wider community, that help is here.
“Kieron is living proof that with the right support, victims of sexual abuse can reclaim their lives. We need more people to be aware of the fact that sadly this does happen in today’s society, it is going on behind closed doors and we need communities to act as eyes and ears, reporting anything they think isn’t right. It is never a wasted call to get in touch with police or safeguarding teams to voice your concerns. It could make all the difference to a child’s life.”
Signs of child sexual abuse can include:
Anyone with concerns can talk directly to the police or local children’s social services. You can also get advice or report your concerns anonymously to the NSPCC by phoning its free helpline on 0808 800 5000.
More information on FSBN can be found at www.fsnb.org.uk.
All articles on this news site are submitted by registered contributors of NorfolkWire. Find out how to subscribe and submit your stories here »