Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Alleged Abuse by Scott Volkers

The Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse is looking at how sporting bodies and top prosecutors handled allegations of sexual assault by Scott Volkers from three former students who were swimming in his training squad at the Queensland Academy of Sport. Julie Gilbert spoke about her experience of alleged abuse on 7.30. She said that she felt "insulted" by a crown prosecutor who questioned her story when she made allegations against Mr Volkers. The prosecutor suggested that at 12 she would not have had breasts. Victims are disbelieved all the time. Organisations protect their assets all the time. When these two factors come together as they did with a high profile, highly regarded coach and a young injured swimmer the organisation clearly chose to protect their asset.  After the charges were dropped Mr Volkers was retained as head coach at the Queensland Academy as the organisation's then chief Alex Baumann was not concerned about Mr Volkers as he was not working directly with children.
It is hard to understand how that decision was not coloured by a desire to retain a well known coach with a reputation for delivering results.  It was certainly not a decision supportive of the three young swimmers.

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