Abuse Survivors Blog

Beyond the cheers: Addressing coach abuse in cheerleading

Written by Megan Hickey on 27 Mar 2024

Our paralegal, Megan Hickey, has competed in national competitions as a cheerleader and is familiar with trust placed in coaches. Cheerleading is a contact sport that requires an immense amount of physical touch in order to carry parts of the routines, especially the stunting sequences. Responsible coaches are essential in this dangerous sport, not just due to its physical nature but also due to the trust involved.


The evolution of online grooming and avenues for redress

Written by Megan Hickey on 25 Jan 2024

The grooming process is often a pre-cursor to sexual abuse. It can take place in person or online and can last days, weeks or months. In an era where children have increasing access and exposure to digital platforms the dark reality of online grooming has emerged as a pressing concern.


The Church at Christmas – a timely reminder

Written by Tracey Emmott on 06 Dec 2023

At the risk of being a bah humbug in the run up to the Christmas season, given that we approach a celebration with great significance to the Christian church, it is appropriate to be reminded of the recommendations made to the Christian church by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (“IICSA”) in their scrutiny of abuse in religious institutions.


Sexual abuse by a Methodist Minister - An unusual modus operandi

Written by Tracey Emmott on 24 Oct 2023

The concept of modus operandi in the context of sexual assault cases refers to a perpetrator’s behaviours prior to, during, and following sexual abuse.


Successful out-of-court settlement for a victim of abuse by a choirmaster

Written by Megan Hickey on 31 May 2023

One of Emmott Snell’s clients (hereafter referred to in this article as Mr M, to protect his identity) has successfully obtained an out-of-court settlement after bringing a civil compensation claim against a parish in the Oxford Diocese for sexual abuse he suffered whilst he was a chorister in a church choir. 


Church of England Case Reviews into institutional abuse

Written by Tracey Emmott on 26 May 2023

It is always heartening when any institution chooses to initiate formal scrutiny when something has gone badly wrong. In the Church of England, the House of Bishop’s guidance states that once matters relate to a safeguarding concern or allegation against a church officer have been completed, lessons should be identified and learnt from the case.


Breaking the silence: Rebekah Vardy on abuse during Jehovah’s Witness childhood

Written by Tracey Emmott on 17 May 2023

Rebekah Vardy’s Channel 4 programme ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses and Me’ in which she alleges that she was sexually abused between the ages of 11 and 15, and that the abuse was covered up by the Jehovah’s Witness leadership in the community of which she was a part, shines a light once again on how reporting of childhood abuse in religious contexts is dealt with, often inadequately.


Let 2023 be the year to break the silence about childhood sexual abuse

Written by Megan Hickey on 29 Dec 2022

Many victims of sexual abuse live in silence and fear. It is heartening that more victims of sexual abuse are speaking out. The reporting of high-profile cases in the media has helped public awareness of childhood sexual abuse. A growing awareness and acceptance of mental health issues and the role of childhood abuse in causing mental health difficulties has also played a part in emboldening survivors to speak out. 


The role of The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL)

Written by Megan Hickey on 14 Nov 2022

What is it?

The Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL) was set up in 1999 by leading solicitors in the field of civil compensation claims, for the physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of children and adults.

The Association consists of solicitors, barristers, legal executives, trainee solicitors, barrister pupils, experts, and paralegals.


Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Week in 2022

Written by Tracey Emmott on 09 Feb 2022

Sexual abuse and sexual violence is a deeply damaging reality. Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week is a national event aimed at building awareness and campaigning against sexual violence and abuse.