Dutch sport struggles with revelations of widespread sexual abuse
Years after her career ended, De Bruin reported the manager’s abuse to the cycling federation – but the procedure which should have produced redress went nowhere.
The case went to mediation but was met, she says, by a wall of denial and intimidation from her abuser – leaving her feeling so “powerless” that she decided to abandon any further action.
Two things changed Petra de Bruin’s mind. The first was hearing about the historical child sex abuse allegations in UK football and the lengthening list of players who’ve gone public. Their bravery impressed her.
The second was closer to home, when another Dutch woman cyclist, Marijn de Vries, wrote about the sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, and intimidation she’d suffered as a professional rider between 2010 and 2015 – years after De Bruin had retired.
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