One of our abuse compensation lawyers was invited to appear on Sky News to discuss the growing scandal of abuse in football.
In her live Sky News interview on 4th December 2016 shewas asked about the use of confidentiality clauses in abuse cases.
This followed the decision taken by Chelsea Football Club to release Gary Johnson from the confidentiality clause he had entered into.
Campaigner Marilyn Hawes of Enough Abuse UK is calling for a change in the law to prevent abusers hiding behind confidentiality clauses. The use of confidentiality clauses is extremely common and Marilyn wants to know how many other abuse victims are being legally gagged and prevented from sharing their experiences.
People who have suffered abuse take strength from other victims speaking out. It is this shared experience that often gives them the courage to find their own voice. But when victims are silenced, this process breaks down. People who have suffered similar experiences can be left feeling isolated and alone.
Marilyn therefore demands that we must end this system of institutionalised cover-up.
We supports the charity’s call for action to be taken. Abuse survivors often have no alternative but to agree to a confidentiality clause. These clauses are common in legal agreements and lawyers representing abusers or their employers will often insist on one being included. But while confidentiality clauses might have a role to play in some areas of law, their use in sex abuse cases is inappropriate. It is important that we encourage abuse survivors to speak openly and candidly about their experiences. Sex abuse has been hushed up and hidden from view for too long. And the legal system must now play its part in ensuring that the problem is confronted openly and transparently.
Marilyn Hawes now intends to petition to get this issue debated in Parliament. In the meantime she is demanding that abuse victims who have been required to enter into a confidentiality agreement be immediately released from their restriction.