Charity praises ‘extremely brave’ Kieron Dyer after revealing childhood sexual abuse
- Credit: Archant
Former Ipswich Town footballer Kieron Dyer has been described as “extremely brave” for revealing horrific details of sexual abuse he suffered as a child.
Ipswich-born Dyer, 39, who made 94 appearances for Town between 1996 and 1999 and during a loan spell in 2011, disclosed the details in an interview with The Mail on Sunday, ahead of his autobiography which is being published this month and serialised in the newspaper from Monday. Read his account here.
Dyer’s book launch at Portman Road will raise funds for Suffolk charity Fresh Start – New Beginnings (FSNB), which has helped almost 1,000 children who have suffered from sexual abuse since it was founded in 2012.
David Hockley, its chief executive, said: “It’s extremely brave of Kieron and it’s obviously taken a number of years before he was able to come forward.
“His abuse experience clearly demonstrates that child abuse has such a far-reaching impact, not only on the direct victim but the whole family: parents, grandparents, and friends.
“He has suffered in silence for many, many years and for whatever reason now he feels that he is supported enough, that he is in the right place in his life, to be able to come forward and speak up.
“If you disclose abuse as an adult or as a child, it is really difficult. You have to be sure the right support is there.
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“In our experience, boys and men find it much more difficult to disclose sexual assault than females for many reasons. As boys, as men, we bottle up our feelings which is not healthy, which is why our charity is all about getting what’s inside your head outside of your head so you can start recovery journey.”
He said he hoped that Dyer’s admission will provide confidence to many other victims of child abuse who have not reported or discussed their experiences to now seek help.
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He added: “Kieron Dyer is a very well respected and very gifted football player who would have been looked up to by thousands of people, both adults and children alike.
“The hope would be that someone like Kieron coming forward would encourage a child to come forward who otherwise may not have decided to disclose, whatever the reason.
“They will be believed and get the support from Fresh Start – New Beginnings.”
Call the charity on 01473 353355.